Shiloh Battlefield in Tennessee - Photos and Information
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Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee
The Civil War - April 6 & 7, 1862 - Shiloh, Tennessee
The Shiloh National Military Park is a very interesting place to visit as it shares a unique part in the greater story of the Civil War. Being in Tennessee, this particular battleground preserves the scene of the first great battle in the West of the War Between the States. There unusually heavy casualties in this battle. It brought home, the horrors of this war to both the North and the South.
There were over 24,000 men killed, wounded or that turned up missing. This number is about one fifth of the combined forces in that battle. It had to be like a living nightmare for all involved. I can't even begin to imagine. Both sides had much to think about, and were rather sobered at what lay ahead.
For instance, with the Confederates unable to destroy the Federal Armies at Shiloh, were forced to return back to Corinth Mississippi. This meant they relinquished any hold they might have had on upon west Tennessee, short of a few forts on the Mississippi. These forts were soon to be taken from them as well, after much struggle of course.
The failure at Shiloh also seemed to foreshadow the loss of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. This was the South's vital line of communication between Chattanooga and the Mississippi. In early June, the fall of Memphis meant the Federals were in position to strike at Vicksburg. This meant that the Confederacy would be split in two, as the Federals took control of the Mississippi.
Psychological Effects of Shiloh
There was surely more of a psychological effect on both sides after Shiloh, than purely just dealing with material gains or losses. For instance, the Confederates learned in a very bitter way, that their former opinion of the Union soldier needed to be adjusted a bit! Prior to this battle, these guys could be heard speaking of a Union soldier as not being of all that great a concern. It wasn't unheard of for them to talk about how one Confederate soldier was equal to or greater than about 10 Federal soldiers! This boasting was quieted after the South took their dash and chivalry up against the North's valor and tenacity.
For the Northerners, the near defeat at Shiloh removed any and all illusion of an easy victory that had been created in their minds. After all, they had defeated both Forts Henry and Donelson without such loss as they saw at Shiloh. This was a whole different story. They now knew, this struggle between the North and the South would be long, and very bloody.
Lack of Generalship on Both Sides
On both sides of this battle at Shiloh, you won't really find amazing generalship. Perhaps that is why there is such loss of life to the extreme we see? In Shiloh, we see a battle fought by raw volunteers - young men without any previous experience in major engagements like this. Nor, did many even have any formal military training. It is in battles like this, the tragedy of this kind of war, really makes it mark felt. How heartbreaking for so many families.
The results of the battle at Shiloh were unusually heavy, as indicated prior. Grant's army of 39,830 had a reinforcement during the night. In the middle of this two day battle they got an extra 25,255, causing the number of the Union side to raise to 65,085. This excluded a guard detachment of 1,727 men left at Crump's Landing. Of that 65,085, 1,754 were reported killed, 8,408 wounded and about 2,885 went missing. These totals were presented as an aggregate of 13,047 casualties.
The men under Generals Johnston and Beauregard had taken 43,968 men of all arms and condition into battle. They didn't get any reinforcements, but 731 men of Col. Munson R. HIll's Tennessee regiment who reached the front without arms, initially, were then furnished with arms and equipment picked up from the field. The South lost 1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, and 959 captured or missing. This made for a total of 10,699 casualties.
Who Claimed the Victory?
During the first few weeks after this battle, both sides claimed a victory for themselves. For the Confederates claimed they had inflicted an almost complete route on the Federals on Sunday, April 6. Also, they claimed they had been able to hold part of the field until they withdrew in good order on Monday. They also stated that the Union army was so terribly battered, that they were unable to pursue any longer.
The Federals claimed their victory on the facts that on Monday evening they had recovered their encampments, and also that they had possessions from the field that Confederates had retired, along with leaving many dead and wounded.
After the Battle
The Confederates were made to draw southward, and Corinth was abandoned to the North on May 30th. As stated prior, this severed the railroad from Memphis to Chattanooga. By the end of 1962 the only forts along the Mississippi that remained in Southern hands were the ones near Vicksburg. These fell also after a long siege, on July 4, 1863. The Confederacy was cut in two.
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Shiloh National Military Park
See Part Two of Shiloh Battlefield - Photos and Facts
- Shiloh Battlefield II
The two day battle of Shiloh in Tennessee back in the Civil War was a very awful and bloody battle. So many lives were lost. Find out more facts about this battle, and see images of the preserved National Military Park still around today.
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