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Although Shiloh means “Place of Peace,” the Battle of Shiloh, or Battle of Pittsburg Landing was one of the bloodiest fought during the Civil War. The battle was fought over two days and what looked to be a Confederate victory, ended in the Union’s favor.

Surprise Attack

In order to capture Corinth, a large Confederate rail center, General Ulysses S. Grant, with 42,000 men, decided to combine his manpower with General Don Carloss Buell and his army of 20,000. The Confederate Gen. Johnston wanted to stop this from happening and launched a surprise attack on Grant before the two armies could unite. The Confederates drove the Union army back near Shiloh, a small church and then threatened to trap Grant’s men against the Tennessee river. Johnston was however struck by a bullet during battle, which severed an artery in his leg and caused him to bleed to death. This placed Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard in command, who decided to stop fighting at nightfall and drew his tired soldiers back from Pittsburg Landing. He thought that Buell was still miles away and that Grant’s army was beaten.


The Scales Tipped

What Beauregard didn’t know, was that Buell’s men would arrive soon and ferry themselves across the river at night, which strengthened Grant’s army with 23,000 fresh soldiers. In the morning, Grant and Buell’s unified armies forced the Confederates back to Corinth, gaining all the territory they had lost the previous day, a clear victory for the Union.


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"Who Won the Battle of Shiloh?" History on the Net
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