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Shiloh: Bloody April Newly Corrected Edition Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0890290705
ISBN-10: 8121504244
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 539 pages
  • Publisher: Morningside Bookshop; Newly Corrected Edition edition (November 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8121504244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890290705
  • ASIN: 0890290709
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,637,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Sword has written a well-researched and detailed history of the battle. There's a good balance between coverage of military movements and personal stories. My only complaint is the same that I have for every other book of this type - not enough maps to give the reader a totally clear picture of events. Nevertheless, I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the battle of Shiloh.
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The title gives you my thoughts on this book. No library should be considered complete unless it contains a copy of this book. This is the original "definitive" study on Shiloh and has never become dated. Sword combines excellent scholarship with readable informative writing. This produces an enjoyable learning experience for a person new to the battle and the experienced student.
Shiloh is the first large battle of the war. This resulted in a learning experience for both sides, officers and enlisted men. These inexperience soldiers showed how brave they could be. At the sametime, they showed how important training and experience is. This horrific two-day battle shocked Americans, as they took the first step toward understanding the real price of war.
The battlefield is wooded broken land. The battle is a confused affaire fought over a three-mile front. The battle lines are never a stable as units move forward or fall back. Shiloh never has the long stable battle lines of Gettysburg. In the hands of a less skilled author, the battle can quickly become incomprehensible. Sword's skill couple with an intelligent design of chapters and excellent maps keeps this from happening.
While first published in 1974, a "Corrected Edition" was released in 2001. This edition contains information that was not available in 1974. This is only a consideration if you are buying on the secondary market. The "Corrected Edition" is clearly marked and contains a special preface by Wiley Sword.
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From the dust cover of Wiley Sword's "Shiloh: Bloody April" the reader is told that Wiley Sword graduated from the University of Michigan and still lives and works in Michigan. In Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall's forward to Mr. Sword's book, the reader learns that Sword is not a professional writer nor has he any personal military experience, but rather Mr. Sword is a Civil War hobbyist. Shiloh has always been a topic that fascinated Mr. Sword; hence, his book: "Shiloh: Bloody April".

Near the end of his book, Sword recalls Grant's premise that "Shiloh was the severest battle at the West during the war, and but few equaled it for hard, determined fighting" (p. 438). Still later Sword includes another statement from Grant's memoirs: "The Battle of Shiloh . . . has been perhaps less understood, or to state the case more accurately, more persistently misunderstood than any other engagement between National and Confederate troops during the entire rebellion" (p. 440). These two notions are key to understanding Sword's thesis. Sword's objective, he writes, is ". . . to present the story of Shiloh as accurately and objectively as possible without regard to personalities or partisanship" (p. xi). Herein, Sword is stating that it is his intention to impress upon the reader the severity of the fighting in that battle and to dispel the misunderstandings that have persisted about Shiloh.

Shiloh was not an insignificant battle fought in the backwaters of western Tennessee. Shiloh was not a draw; as such, it was more than a Southern victory on the first day and a Southern reverse on the second day. Accordingly, Wiley Sword's thesis is that Shiloh was a major, strategic defeat for the South.
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