Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Grant's Resolve - Shiloh - April 6th And 7th 1862


The Hornets Nest Today


  The battle of Shiloh was fought on April 6th and 7th 1862. There were over 23,000 casualties, 13,000 Union and 10,000 confederate. It is one of my favorite battlefields to visit. Shiloh is one of the oldest and largest battlefields as far as acreage owned by the National Park Service. The area around it is still undeveloped unlike Stones River. There are 1152 acres owned by the Park service. You can still see where the battle started around Shiloh Church. The Hornet's Nest where W.H.L. Wallace held off the Confederate Army long enough for Grant to mount a last line of defense. It was called the Hornets Nest because of the sound that the bullets made whizzing through the air. The Peach Orchard where the leaves looked like snow falling to the ground after being clipped by bullets. The place where Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston bled to death from an arterial wound in his leg. Bloody Pond where it was supposedly pink from the men washing their wounds, and being full of dead horses and men. The Confederate mass graves where in at least one it is said that 700 men are stacked seven deep. Five of these mass graves are marked but it is believed that between eleven or twelve are there. 

  Ulysses S. Grant is one of my favorite people. There were only four things in life that he was good at. He was a great husband and father, a great horseman, and a great general. In everything else he was a failure. He is considered one of the worst presidents in history. Shiloh was a turning point for Grant and the nation. He was coming off of a great victory at Ft. Donelson but was surprised at Shiloh and was able to hold on by the skin of his teeth. After Shiloh he was pushed to the side and superseded by General Henry Halleck , but would eventually regain his command. The old charges of being a drunk plagued him. Yet Shiloh convinced Grant that the only way the South was going to be defeated was through total war. The focus would not only be on the Southern armies but the Southern people. This was the beginning of the modern concept of war. Prior to Shiloh Grant thought that the South was on it's last leg and one final decisive battle would finish them. There had only been two major battles so far and they were a walk in the park compared to Shiloh. Grant was one of the few Union Generals to realize that the war was going to be a long drawn out bloody process and in that sense the beginning of the end was at Shiloh.
Ulysses S. Grant


Albert Sidney Johnston

Shiloh Church
Tennessee Monument At Shiloh

Bloody Pond

Confederate Burial Trench
Confederate Burial Trench At Shiloh

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