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Explore one of the major battles of the Civil War in detail. Who were the important figures What events or trends played a - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Class 30 September 2013 Battle of Shiloh In two days, from April 6 to April 7, 1862, the Battle of Shiloh became the first bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, claiming around 23,746 lives, wherein 13,047 were Union soldiers. When the battle occurred, the Union forces were taken by surprise, even when earlier reports of Confederate sightings reached both Brigadier General William Tecumseh Sherman and Major General Ulysses S…
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Explore one of the major battles of the Civil War in detail. Who were the important figures What events or trends played a
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Download file to see previous pages The significant figures of the battle are the generals from the Union and the Confederacy, while the critical events were Sherman’s earlier dismissals of reports of Confederate sightings, the initial fighting, Johnston’s death, and the successful counterattacks that Grant ordered and Buell reinforced. The effects of the Battle of Shiloh on the Civil War are the recognition of the true intensity, duration, and consequences of the Civil War and the importance of experienced soldiers and officers in winning the war. The Major Players of the Battle of Shiloh The decisive figures of the Battle of Shiloh were Major General Ulysses S. Grant and Major General Don Carlos Buell for the Union, and General Albert Sidney Johnston and General P.G.T. Beauregard for the Confederate, although General Sherman affected the unpreparedness of the Union too. Chuck Veit underlines that the first battle of Shiloh occurred five weeks before the April attack, one which already foreshadowed poor planning and intelligence assessment on the part of higher military officers of the Union. Winston Groom specifically blames General Sherman for his “folly” because he disregarded mounting reports regarding advancing Confederate lines (46). Groom narrates that, two days before the attack, Major Elbridge G. Ricker already reported to General Sherman that they encountered a Confederate group with artillery only two miles from the latter’s headquarters (46). Instead of verifying the veracity of this report, General Sherman easily dismissed Ricker and said: “Oh, tut-tut. You militia officers get scared too easy” (Groom 46). He also reproached Ricker for inciting a battle when the Union troops were not yet fully prepared (Groom 46). Groom lamented that instead of physically reinforcing the vulnerable Pittsburgh landing, where the Union soldiers were, Sherman focused on drilling exercises (46). General Grant, moreover, greatly relied on General Sherman’s assessment of intelligence information and determination of enemy threat. Grant sent a telegram to Major General Henry Wager Halleck, a higher-ups officer in St. Louis, that the enemy stayed in Corinth and would not likely attack them, though they were prepared in case they did (Groom 47). Unknown to the Union generals, Confederate General Johnston wanted to take initiative after the defeat at Forts Henry and Donelson. Blair Howard describes Johnston’s awareness of the vulnerability of their Corinth position and that he knew that Grant was still waiting for Don Carlos Buell’s army as reinforcement (45). Johnston planned what seemed to be inconceivable to General Grant and General Sherman, doing an offensive on the Union’s own front yard (Howard 45). Johnston wanted to attack Grant’s forces on April 4, but bad weather delayed him (Howard 45). By the eve of the April 6 attack, Johnston’s army of 44,000 already moved around two miles south of Shiloh Church, the outermost border of the Union army, with the element of surprise on their side (Howard 45). The Turning Points in the Battle of Shiloh The opening attack happened at Fraley Field, as the sixth of April of 1862 began. Union officers in the high command constantly rebuffed reports of advancing Confederate soldiers, but Captain Gilbert D. Johnson, a company commander in the 12th Michigan, was already suspicious of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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