Battle of Shiloh

By: Devin Higgins

The Surprise in Tennessee

The battle at Shiloh, also known as Pittsburgh Landing was a major battle in the Western Theater in the American Civil War on April 6, 1862. Under the command of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, 40,000 Confederate soldiers attacked a line of Union soldiers attempting to occupy ground near Pittsburgh Landing on the Tennessee River. Confederates overpowered the unprepared Federal forces and threatened to overwhelm Ulysses S. Grant's entire command. During the first day of fighting, Gen. Johnston was wounded and replaced by Gen. Beauregard. Fighting continued until after dark. Confederates outnumbered Federals by about 10,000 troops but the Federals held their own. By April 7, Grant had surprisingly overpowered the weakened Confederate army forcing Beauregard and his army to retire from the field. Grant's and Beauregard's totaled about 62,000 of which 1,754 were killed, 8,408 were wounded, and 2,885 were captured or missing. Of the 45,000 Confederates, 1,723 were killed, 8,012 were wounded, and 959 were missing or captured. The two day battle at Shiloh produced more than 23,000 casualties and was the bloodiest battle in American history at its time. This battle played a major role in the Union's progress in the Western Theater and the Union victory gave Tennessee to the North.