The Battle Of Shiloh Essay

1795 words - 7 pages

The Battle of Shiloh was an extraordinary event in the civil war timeline and would be a great deal as to when the war was fought at its hardest. The sources I have researched and collected will help me better understand this battle and many other facts I have yet to discover. The Battle of Shiloh is not the most well known battle during the Civil war, but it gives us an idea on how gruesome the fighting was during this time. I view this battle as a turning point for the Union and the continuing losses for the Confederate army as they try to gain back territory. Officers of each side had separate plans, where the Union needed to take the Memphis and Charleston Railroads, and the Confederates just wanted to stop the Union troops from advancing further south(CWPT).
The Union was commanded by Ulysses S. Grant and Don Carlos Buell. Grants six divisions of troops were led by Major General John A. McClernand and Lew Wallace, Brigadier General W.H.L. Wallace, Stephen A. Hurlbut, William T. Sherman, and Benjamin M. Prentiss. The whole point into going to Shiloh was to meet up with the other commander Don Carlos Buell and his men, then going to overtake the Memphis and Charleston Railroads (CWPT).
Buell’s army was led by Brigadier General Alexander M. McCook, William "Bull" Nelson, Thomas L. Crittenden, and Thomas J. Wood. These men led over 17,000 troops toward Shiloh and had every intention to kill as many confederate troops as possible in order to take their objective.
The Confederates States of America was commanded by Albert Sidney Johnston and Pierre Gustave Toutant (P.G.T.) Beauregard. Johnston assembled and commanded the Army of Mississippi; their objective was to stop the north from pushing back the Confederates into Mississippi and gaining control over the Memphis and Charleston Railroads (EWTH).
Union troops that were with Grant camped around the north of Shiloh for about a month waiting for Buell’s men to arrive to march southward, little did they know that a serious attack was about to unravel on Grants campsite. The Confederates had horrible weapons; some were just sharp wooden sticks not even capable of maneuverability, but many had rifles, shotguns and cannons at the ready. The troops for Johnston’s army were not battle hardened and gave way to warfare fatigue (Arnold 15-16).
Many of the Union troops were already at battle and had combat experience. They knew their ways around battlefields and how to take over a position. Most have already had training at Fort Donelson and were battle ready (EWTH).
Johnston was anxious to attack the Union forces, he was ready to go on April 4th, but Johnston was hesitant because he thought he had lost the element of surprise. On the morning of April 6, Johnston's force surprised Grant in an attack that slowly pushed the Union troops back from the high ground they occupied towards the Tennessee River. Fighting was fierce (EWTH). The Union forces were not ready; they had no guards to stand watch...

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