The Battle of Shiloh can be difficult to follow because, well, it was so darned messy! This was not a fight like Gettysburg or Antietam where the armies more or less knew what they were doing. With the exception of a few West Point graduates at the top of the command structure, almost everyone on the field at Shiloh was an amateur at the business of war – mostly local lawyers and politicians leading tens of thousands of their hometown boys into the gates of hell. What’s amazing is the amount of damage these amateurs were able and willing to do to each other in just 18 hours or so of active fighting.
For those who survived the inferno without running and without losing any important body parts, Shiloh served as an excellent on-the-job training site for many future war leaders.
For those of you who view this website, my goal is that you’ll come away with a better understanding, not only of what happened there, but a better understanding of what it was really like for the men and boys who fought in that terrible battle at Shiloh.