Shiloh, TN

[Battle of Shiloh by Thulstrup - Courtesy of Wikipedia]


Misnamed Battlefield

In the two days at the Battle of Shiloh there were more than 23,500 casualties.  At that time, it was bloodiest battle of the war.  "Shiloh" is a Hebrew word meaning "place of peace."


Date(s):  April 6-7, 1862

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Shiloh National Military Park (national military park), Tennessee, United States

Campaign(s): Federal Penetration up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers [1862]

Battles in Campaign:


  • As a result of the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, the commander in the area, was forced to fall back, giving up Kentucky and much of West and Middle Tennessee.

  • He chose Corinth, Mississippi, a major transportation center, as the staging area for an offensive against Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee before the Army of the Ohio, under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, could join it.

  • The Confederate retrenchment was a surprise, although a pleasant one, to the Union forces, and it took Grant, with about 40,000 men, some time to mount a southern offensive, along the Tennessee River, toward Pittsburg Landing.

  • Grant received orders to await Buell’s Army of the Ohio at Pittsburg Landing.

  • Grant did not choose to fortify his position; rather, he set about drilling his men many of which were raw recruits.


  • Union:  Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell

  • Confederate: Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston and Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Army of the Tennessee and Army of the Ohio [65,085]

  • Confederate: Army of the Mississippi [44,968]


  • Johnston originally planned to attack Grant on April 4, but delays postponed it until the 6th. Attacking the Union troops on the morning of the 6th, the Confederates surprised them, routing many.

  • Some Federals made determined stands and by afternoon, they had established a battle line at the sunken road, known as the “Hornets Nest.”

  • Repeated Confederate attacks failed to carry the Hornets Nest, but massed artillery helped to turn the tide as Confederates surrounded the Union troops and captured, killed, or wounded most. 

  • Johnston had been mortally wounded earlier and his second in command, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, took over.

  • The Union troops established another line covering Pittsburg Landing, anchored with artillery and augmented by Buell’s men who began to arrive and take up positions.

  • Fighting continued until after dark, but the Federals held.

  • By the next morning, the combined Federal forces numbered about 40,000, outnumbering Beauregard’s army of less than 30,000. Beauregard was unaware of the arrival of Buell’s army and launched a counterattack in response to a two-mile advance by William Nelson’s division of Buell’s army at 6:00 am, which was, at first, successful.

  • Union troops stiffened and began forcing the Confederates back.

  • Beauregard ordered a counterattack, which stopped the Union advance but did not break its battle line.

  • At this point, Beauregard realized that he could not win and, having suffered too many casualties, he retired from the field and headed back to Corinth.

  • On the 8th, Grant sent Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman, with two brigades, and Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood, with his division, in pursuit of Beauregard.

  • They ran into the Rebel rearguard, commanded by Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest, at Fallen Timbers where the Federal troops decided to return to Pittsburg Landing.

Photo Gallery:1

Shiloh National Military Park

Shiloh National Military Park

Description of Pittsburg Landing

Pittsburg Landing

Pittsburg Landing

Pittsburg Landing

Pittsburg Landing

Pittsburg Landing

Monument to Illinois Volunteers

Ohio Artillery Battery Marker

Description of first engagement on Shiloh battlefield

Road from Pittsburg Landing

Iowa Monument

W. H. L. Wallace's Headquarters Monument

Indiania 17th Infantry Regiment Monument

Top of Iowa Monument

Corinth-Pittsburg Landing Road

Confederate Memorial

Confederate Memorial

Confederate Memorial

Confederate Memorial

Confederate Memorial

Desription of battle in the Hornets' Nest

The Hornets' Nest

Between the Hornets' Nest and Ruggles' Battery

Iowa Monument - 12th Regiment Infantry Volunteers

Description of the surrender at the Hornet's Nest

Munch's Battery Monument

Ruggles' Batteries

Ruggles' Batteries

Ruggles' Batteries

Ruggles' Batteries

Ruggles' Batteries

Ruggles' Batteries

Location of McClernand's headquaters

Ohio monument

Description of Shiloh's casualties

Description of Conferate retreat

Tennessee Monument

Tennessee Monument

Raith Mortuary Monument

Shiloh Church

Union Reconnaissance Patrol

The Battle Begins

Union Line of Defense

Invasion of Union Camps

Paebody Mortuary Monument

Location of Field Hospital

Location of Stuart's Headquaters

Location of Field Hospital

Descritption of the death of Confederate General A. S. Johnston

Memorial marking location of General Johnston's death

Description of the battle in the Peach Orchid

Site of Peach Orchid

Union line along Hamburg-Savannah Road

W. Manse George Cabin

W. Manse George Cabin

Union Batteries

Bloody Pond

Bloody Pond

Shiloh National Cemetery

Shiloh National Cemetery

Union Grave Marker

Michigan Unit Headstones

Memorial Plaque

Shiloh National Cemetery


Reenactment Photos: 150th Anniversary

The Cherry Mansion: Grant's Headquarters

Classification2: A


  • Union:  13,047

  • Confederate: 10,699

Results: Union Victory

Battlefield Websites:

Lodging and Restaurants: Tennessee Tourism

Recommended Resources:

1 Please click on the image to enlarge it. You may copy the images if you include the following note and link with each image: "Courtesy of"

2 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 03/01/2013