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April 6 1862 Battle of Shiloh begins

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Shiloh

Pittsburg Landing

April 6 - 7, 1862

Hardin County, Tennessee

 

On the morning of April 6, 1862, 40,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston poured out of the nearby woods and struck a line of Union soldiers occupying ground near Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. The overpowering Confederate offensive drove the unprepared Federal forces from their camps and threatened to overwhelm Ulysses S. Grant’s entire command. Some Federals made determined stands and by afternoon, they had established a battle line at the sunken road, known as the “Hornet's Nest.” Repeated Rebel attacks failed to carry the Hornet's Nest, but massed artillery helped to turn the tide as Confederates surrounded the Union troops and captured, killed, or wounded most. During the first day’s attacks, Gen. Johnston was mortally wounded and was replaced by P.G.T. Beauregard. Fighting continued until after dark, but the Federals held. By the next morning, the reinforced Federal army numbered about 40,000, outnumbering Beauregard’s army of less than 30,000. Grant’s April 7th counteroffensive overpowered the weakened Confederate forces and Beauregard’s army retired from the field. The two day battle at Shiloh produced more than 23,000 casualties and was the bloodiest battle in American history at its time.

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The Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing)

April 6-7, 1862

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e720ABFOxgk

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SyDbZZCoFE

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGcXqszdHSY

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWRhlstJ1ZU

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Battle of Shiloh: Shattering Myths

TIMOTHY B. SMITH

 

The Battle of Shiloh, which took place on April 6-7, 1862, is one of the Civil War’s most momentous fights, but perhaps one of the least understood. The standard story of the engagement reads that Union troops were surprised in their camps at dawn on April 6. Defeat seemed certain, but Union Brigadier General Benjamin M. Prentiss saved the day by holding a sunken road some 3 feet deep. Thanks to the tenacious fighting in that area, it came to be known as the Hornet’s Nest.

 

Prentiss eventually capitulated, leaving Rebel commander General Albert Sidney Johnston in a position to drive on to victory. General Johnston, however, was soon mortally wounded and replaced by General P.G.T. Beauregard, which cost the Confederates vital momentum. Beauregard made the inept decision to call off the Confederate attacks, and the next day Union counterattacks dealt Rebel hopes a crushing blow.

 

This standard account of Shiloh, however, is more myth than fact. No less an authority than Ulysses S. Grant, the Union commander at the fight, wrote after the war that Shiloh ‘has been perhaps less understood, or, to state the case more accurately, more persistently misunderstood, than any other engagement…during the entire rebellion. Preeminent Shiloh authority and historian David W. Reed, the first superintendent of the battlefield park, wrote in 1912 that occasionally…some one thinks that his unaided memory of the events of 50 years ago is superior to the official reports of officers which were made at [the] time of the battle. It seems hard for them to realize that oft-repeated campfire stories, added to and enlarged, become impressed on the memory as real facts.

 

Unfortunately, such misunderstandings and oft-repeated campfire stories have over the years become for many the truth about Shiloh, distorting the actual facts and painting an altered picture of the momentous events of those April days. One has to look no further than the legend of Johnny Clem, the supposed Drummer Boy of Shiloh, to realize that tall tales surround the battle. Clem’s 22nd Michigan Infantry was not even organized until after Shiloh took place. Similarly, the notorious Bloody Pond, today a battlefield landmark, could be myth. There is no contemporary evidence that indicates the pond became bloodstained. In fact, there is no contemporary evidence that there was even a pond on the spot. The sole account came from a local citizen who years later told of walking by a pond a few days after the battle and seeing it stained with blood.

 

(Snip)

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