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Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War Paperback – June 12, 1998

3.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The bloodbath at Shiloh, Tenn. (April 6-7, 1862), brought an end to any remaining innocence in the Civil War. The combined 23,000 casualties that the two armies inflicted on each other in two days shocked North and South alike. Ulysses S. Grant kept his head and managed, with reinforcements, to win a hard-fought victory. Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston was wounded and bled to death, leaving P.G.T. Beauregard to disengage and retreat with a dispirited gray-clad army. Daniel (Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee) has crafted a superbly researched volume that will appeal to both the beginning Civil War reader as well as those already familiar with the course of fighting in the wooded terrain bordering the Tennessee River. His impressive research includes the judicious use of contemporary newspapers and extensive collections of unpublished letters and diaries. He offers a lengthy discussion of the overall strategic situation that preceded the battle, a survey of the generals and their armies and, within the notes, sharp analyses of the many controversies that Shiloh has spawned?including assessments of previous scholarship on the battle. This first new book on Shiloh in a generation concludes with a cogent chapter on the consequences of those two fatal days of conflict. Illustrations not seen by PW. BOMC and History Book Club split main selections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Before Antietam, Shiloh stood as the bloodiest engagement of the Civil War. The April 1862 battle did not decide the war, as Daniel (Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee, Univ. of North Carolina, 1991) recognizes, but it almost ruined Gen. U.S. Grant, shook up the commands of both Union and Confederate armies, and left the West open to Union advances. Daniel's is the first study of the battle in 20 years and in many ways the most original. By juxtaposing accounts of fighting along the lines with scenes of political infighting in Washington and Richmond, Daniel shows how the politics of command, personal jealousies, piecemeal intelligence, and the skills of small-unit commanders affected the outcome of the battle. He also reminds us how little politicians and generals controlled events once soldiers started to fight. But he oversells the story. Only astute readers will escape from the swirl of battle details with a good sense of why Shiloh mattered. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.?Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 12, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684838575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684838571
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Shiloh : The Battle That Changed the Civil War by Larry J. Daniel is a fine history of the first bloody battle of the Civil War. While much of the book follows the troop movements that occurred during the two day battle, the strength of the book is when Daniel moves away from the specifics of the battle and deals with the personalties involved as well as its cause and effect.
The book is well written, although it is difficult to follow much of the discussion concerning specific troop movements and the maps are not that helpful. However, that does not detract from the fine descriptions of the major players and their strengths and weaknesses. While Daniel is justifiedly critical of all of the major players, he is perhaps too forgiving of Sherman's role in allowing the surprise attack to occur.
Daniel goes to lengths to describe how Grant manipulated the situation to ensure that Sherman would be the senior Division Commander present at Pittsburg Landing, but then does not sufficiently discus his failure to have the troops entrench. It was that failure that allowed the Confederate surprise attack to almost succeed.
The above failure aside this was a very readable history of a crucial Civil War battle.
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Format: Hardcover
Although sometimes difficult to read, this is a is a well written, researched and documented analysis of the Battle of Shiloh. The first of the Civil War's major battles, the 23,000 Union and Confederate casualties that were experienced in 2 days of fighting at this Northern Mississippi, Tennessee River crossing were more than all the casualties incurred in all of America's previous wars combined. North and South did not clash here, they bludgeoned each other.
Long the subject of controversy, Shiloh's participants and contemporaries left a legacy of acrimonious discussion and creative revisionism that continues today. Larry Daniel's book goes a long way to getting this signal Civil War battle back to its proper perspective. Within two months of this defeat, the South lost 15,000 square miles of its Nation, including Memphis, Tennessee, all of the upper Mississippi River forts from Columbus, Kentucky to just above Vicksburg, Mississippi and, eventually, New Orleans, Louisiana, the Souths' largest city and one of its finest ports.
This is a step by step analysis of the uncertainty, blunders and lack of tactics as well as the fortitude, bravery and selflessness displayed by both sides. Many real heroes were born here. Many armchair and political heroes were defrocked. It was a true blood bath in the worst sense of the concept, setting the stage for Antietam, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville and all the horrors that came after. It defined the antagonists' resolve and defined each sector's devotion to its cause: The South's completely focused commitment to their definition of freedom and the North's completely focused dedication to their definition of Union.
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Format: Hardcover
This was the first (and so far only) book I had read on this famous battle and I must say that at times I found the book to be confusing. Overall the book provided a good account of the battle and it was an enjoyable read. The author provides 15 detailed and easy to understand maps of the action and a number of photographs of the battle area and personalities. I must say however that the book did not get me involved as other books I have read on the Civil War. I did not get a feel for the soldiers or the Generals and the narrative on the fighting did not draw me into the text like Sears, Priest or Rhea. This was still a good book but not great!
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Format: Paperback
Students of the Civil War have long recognized the importance of the battles in the West to the outcome of the conflict. The early stages of the war in the West, the battles of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh were critical to the ultimate outcome.

Larry Daniel's "Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War" offers a detailed account of the bloody conflict that took place April 6-7, 1862 at Pittsburgh Landing in Tennessee. But the strength of the book lies more in Daniel's attempt to put the battle in its political context than in his description of the military actions.

Daniel argues that Jefferson Davis's policy in the West, which required a defence of every part of the Confederacy's large border, was based on highly dubious assumptions on how to garner support for the Southern war effort from European powers. Albert Sidney Johnston, a highly regarded general and a friend of Davis, received the unenviable task of commanding the Southern forces in the Western theatre. Militarily, Davis's policy stretched the Confederacy's available manpower very thin and made a breakthrough almost inevitable. Following the disaster at Fort Donelson, the way was opened into the Confederacy's heartland in Tennessee and further South including, ultimately, the control of the Mississippi River.

Johnstson, under severe criticism for the loss of Fort Donelson, was forced to evacuate Nashville. An ailing P.T. Beauregard was sent to assist Johnston and, it seems, Johnston allowed his junior to make many of the command decisions. Ultimately the Confederate troops concentrated in Corinth, Mississippi where the launched the surprise attack at Shiloh.
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