Shiloh, 1862

Front Cover
National Geographic Books, Mar 20, 2012 - History - 512 pages
5 Reviews
A main selection in History Book-of-the-Month Club and alternate selection in Military Book-of-the-Month Club.

In the spring of 1862, many Americans still believed that the Civil War, "would be over by Christmas." The previous summer in Virginia, Bull Run, with nearly 5,000 casualties, had been shocking, but suddenly came word from a far away place in the wildernesses of Southwest Tennessee of an appalling battle costing 23,000 casualties, most of them during a single day. It was more than had resulted from the entire American Revolution. As author Winston Groom reveals in this dramatic, heart-rending account, the Battle of Shiloh would singlehandedly change the psyche of the military, politicians, and American people--North and South--about what they had unleashed by creating a Civil War.

In this gripping telling of the first "great and terrible" battle of the Civil War, Groom describes the dramatic events of April 6 and 7, 1862, when a bold surprise attack on Ulysses S. Grant's encamped troops and the bloody battle that ensued would alter the timbre of the war.

The Southerners struck at dawn on April 6th, and Groom vividly recounts the battle that raged for two days over the densely wooded and poorly mapped terrain. Driven back on the first day, Grant regrouped and mounted a fierce attack the second, and aided by the timely arrival of reinforcements managed to salvage an encouraging victory for the Federals.

Groom's deft prose reveals how the bitter fighting would test the mettle of the motley soldiers assembled on both sides, and offer a rehabilitation of sorts for Union General William Sherman, who would go on from the victory at Shiloh to become one of the great generals of the war. But perhaps the most alarming outcome, Groom poignantly reveals, was the realization that for all its horror, the Battle of Shiloh had solved nothing, gained nothing, proved nothing, and the thousands of maimed and slain were merely wretched symbols of things to come.

With a novelist's eye for telling and a historian's passion for detail, context, and meaning, Groom brings the key characters and moments of battle to life. Shiloh is an epic tale, deftly told by a masterful storyteller.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wildbill - LibraryThing

There was much that I found to enjoy in this book. The author tells a great story using many primary sources to give the reader a good idea of what it was like for the men who fought in the battle of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - labdaddy4 - LibraryThing

A very readable and well organized narrative of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Well documented and researched. Especially readable due to using written accounts of participants as key ... Read full review

Contents

AUTHORs Nore
11
A Note on WEApons tactics UNIts
21
MAPs
27
April Is the Cruelest Month
39
You Must Be Badly Scared
59
From Failure to Fortune
75
Nothing Can Be Done
101
Unconditional Surrender Grant
123
What Followed No Man Could Well Describe
233
Like Shooting into a Flock of Sheep
249
It Was All a Glittering Lie
267
My God My God It Is Too Late 3 13
313
Ah Tom GraftonHow Mistaken You Were 357
384
AcknowledgMents ANd Notes on sources
403
BIBLIOGRAPHY
409
THE BATTLE of SHILoH AND THE organizations ENGAGED
420

This Cruel War
143
He Looked Like an Old Viking King 1 65
165
All the Furies of Hell Broke Loose
219
INDEX
430
MAP SOURCES AND ILLUSTRATIONS CREDITS
446
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

WINSTON GROOM is the author of fourteen previous books, including Patriotic Fire, Shrouds of Glory, Forrest Gump, and Conversations with the Enemy (with Duncan Spencer), which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He lives with his wife and daughter in Point Clear, Alabama.

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