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Beauregard began organizing the southern army in the area of Corinth, Mississippi, while Johnston remained with the main force in the area of Nashville.

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To some extent the North squandered this opportunity by time-consuming politics and command conflict relating to the role of both Halleck and Grant in the future war effort. While Halleck established himself as the unified commander in the west, Davis and Johnston recognized the vulnerability of their position in the Tennessee valley and began to reinforce.

Johnston moved his main army from Nashville to Murfreesboro as Buell began to move south from Kentucky. The Army of the Tennessee under C.


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With two Union armies moving south and Jefferson Davis reinforcing Johnston, the situation became a race to concentrate forces. For Albert Sidney Johnston, the objective was to concentrate his forces and strike Grant before he could link-up with Buell.

That is exactly what he accomplished at the battle of Shiloh. Throughout his book, Larry Daniel is very critical of both Union and Confederate leadership. He tends to focus on their weakness and failures rather than their strengths and successes. He is particularly antagonistic toward Johnston, Beauregard, Halleck, and Buell.

In keeping with current thinking, he is more generous to Grant although he raises questions about his character.

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He is also critical of the physical movement of the armies—both tactical and administrative—and the logistical support efforts. Certainly much of his criticism is valid and it is not the role of the historian to paint a rosy picture of people and events. But he seems to think that people and operations should work like neat little video games, and the unruly nature of real operations appears beyond his ability to grasp.

When Johnston arrived at Corinth with his main force, he had won the race for concentration. Daniel is highly critical of this fact, noting the danger of the situation while failing to recognize that Union control of the river provided maneuver advantage to Grant.

Book Review: Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War, by Larry Daniel

This capability proved its value during the actual fighting. Having the river to his back proved in no way to be a disadvantage to Grant during the battle. Daniel is also critical of the actions of Johnston and Beauregard in the period leading up to the battle of Shiloh. He recognizes that Beauregard did a good job of organizing the army as it concentrated at Corinth, but is critical of the operation plan he created, and of Johnston for accepting it. Later, Daniel is critical of Johnston and Beauregard for not following the plan during the battle.

He fails to recognize that enemy actions and unknown terrain features often necessitate altering a plan during combat. Daniel may be right in his views about the Confederate operation plan, but he does not address the issue well enough to be convincing. Yet even here, Daniel is critical of Johnston for leading from the front while leaving Beauregard in the rear to direct the introduction of forces. On this point, Daniel is entirely wrong and Johnston had it right. The rear area command post is a combination of tactical and logistical headquarters. That place differs with various battles and even in the course of a single engagement.

During the era of the American Civil War, that position was often at the scene of fighting rather than a rear area command post. In the case of Shiloh, Johnston not only had a capable assistant in Beauregard, but one that knew the army very well and had written the battle plan. Despite shortcomings in his leadership prior to Shiloh, Johnston was dynamic on the day of battle in a manner far beyond the capability of Beauregard. If the Confederates had the right command structure on the field, had beaten the Union army in the concentrations of forces, and had caught Grant by surprise at Pittsburg Landing; one might ask why they did not win the battle.

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The answer is relatively simple. All speculation and counterfactual imaginings must fall victim to this reality. Far from having a vulnerable element isolated west of the river, Grant had a powerful force that withstood a vicious attack by the best the Confederacy could muster, and then drove them from the field. Larry Daniel explains the aftermath and ramifications of the battle of Shiloh with good insight.

The death and destruction of Shiloh shocked the leaders and citizens of both North and South. All became aware that this war would not be a quick rush to glorious victory. It would be a long and brutal fight between two determined adversaries.

The Battle of Shiloh

In the North, Grant reemerged as a hero at first. But as facts of the battle surfaced, he became the center of a firestorm of controversy that came close to ending his career. The South lionized Johnston, and posthumously restored his credibility and fame. Even Jefferson Davis believed it immediately after the battle and throughout his life. It is somewhat difficult to realize the enormity of Shiloh as we look back through a historical lens that includes Antietam, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, and other major battles.

Among the wounded however, William Bennett had been Samuel's brother. For the first time the two brothers would be separated during the war. Thus Samuel recalled how hard it had been for him to continue, but at the same time he had realized, thus was a price of war.

General Albert Sydney Johnston of the C. Johnston was killed that day and General P.

The Battle of Shiloh - Essential Civil War Curriculum

Beauregard took over as commanding officer. The fighting of April 6 was a success for Confederate troops. The intention of Beauregard was to push Grant back to the southwest to Owls Creek, but instead they forced them northeast to Pittsburg Landing. It was at Pittsburgh Landing, the next morning that Grant launched a counter attack that forced the Confederates to retreat and had won the Union back its territory. The Battle of Shiloh became had been the bloodiest battle in United States' history up to that point. Toggle navigation The History Engine.