Shiloh National Military Park – a photo essay

Today marks the 148th anniversary of the second day of fighting at the Battle of Shiloh.  On April 6, 1862, CSA General Albert Sidney Johnston’s Army of Mississippi launched a surprise dawn attack on US Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee.  The surprise was complete with US brigadier generals William T. Sherman’s Fifth Division and Benjamin Prentiss’ Sixth Division being pushed back to the “crossroads.”  The fighting would continue through the afternoon, along a sunken road, in an area that would forever be known as the Hornet’s Nest.  After the mortal wounding of Grant’s Second Division commander, Brigadier General William “W.H.L.” Wallace, and the capture of Prentiss, the Federal line gave way with the final Federal stand being made along the Pittsburg Landing Road. 

The Confederate Army of Mississippi would suffer the loss of Sidney Johnston.  Johnston would bleed to death from a very treatable wound to the back of his leg.  He would be the highest ranking officer to be killed in action during the Civil War.  With Johnston dead, General P.G.T. Beauregard would take over command of the decapitated Confederate army.  While victorious during the first day’s fight the Army of Mississippi would become a tangled, disorganized mass of humanity as it pushed through the Federal Fifth Division camps.  Many of the men, who had not eaten a full meal since leaving Corinth several days earlier, could not resist the temptation to raid Sherman’s camp.  In many cases they found fresh brewed coffee and breakfast cooking on the campfires.

Beauregard would struggle to assemble a solid, organized line by the close of the first day’s fight.  His disorganized army would be further demoralized by heavy Federal Navy ordinance being fired regularly through the overnight hours.  While causing relatively few casualties, the loud noise created by the huge naval guns would be frightening and keep the men awake most of the night.  On the Federal side, reinforcements began arriving during the late afternoon and overnight hours when US Major General Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio arrived opposite Pittsburg Landing.  These reinforcements would allow Grant to launch his own surprise attack during the early morning hours of April 7.  This attack would catch Beauregard’s Army of Mississippi unprepared and would eventually push them from the field.

Last year, on the battle’s anniversary, I wrote a detailed narrative of the battle.  It can be read by clicking HERE.

For a complete photo essay on Shiloh National Military Park, check out my Flickr site by clicking HERE.

About Michael Noirot

I grew up in the Central Illinois farming community, of Dunlap. Growing up, I played sports, tinkered with cars and enjoyed photography. While I did well in school, I did not become passionate about history until my early 30's. I have built a large library, of books on early America, politics and the Civil War. I am an avid reader. Fortunately, I have had plenty of opportunities to travel, over the years, and have been to most of the Civil War battlefields. I work while I travel, so more often than not, I am up, in the middle of the night, to get sunrise pictures, or I will be out until well after dark, exploring Civil War battlefields. I have other hobbies, and passions, that I really enjoy. Number one on the list would be guitar. I play my guitars on a regular basis, and enjoy the Bluegrass, and Contemporary Christian (CCM) genres. I play a style of guitar, called FLATPICKING, where using a flat pick, you play lead solos, similar to the way a fiddle would have been played during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Laura, my wife, and I also enjoy scuba diving, travel and spending time at our property, in the country. Lastly, we spend as much time with our families, as possible. Thanks for stopping by.
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4 Responses to Shiloh National Military Park – a photo essay

  1. dianemclarney says:

    Hi Mike,

    Interesting essay. It is so easy to forget what the soldiers went through and how dangerous injuries were in those days. Your articles are an important reminder. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Diane,
    Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate you reading my blog.


  3. Jerome Owens says:

    I have 3 ancestors in the war. KIA at Shiloh was William Penrose.

  4. Mark Bigley says:

    Good article. FYI: In 1929 Congress passed legislation officially calling the conflict: “The War Between the States.” Actually it was not a Civil War. A “civil war” is when two or more groups are fighting to control/seize power over one piece of geography and its inhabitants and resources. All the south wanted in secession was to be left alone/she did not fight to take control over the north (as the north did to the south). A good, accurate, well documented read of this can be found in “In the Course of Human Events” by Charles Adams.

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