Shiloh (Pittsburgh Landing)

Updated 08/18/03

Western ACW Books

Grant and his division commanders were badly surprised in this, the first massive battle out west. More men died in two days along the Tennessee River than had died in all of America's previous wars COMBINED. Albert Sidney Johnston gathered as many troops together as he could find and launched a massive attack on Grant's Campground at Pittsburgh Landing near a small country church named Shiloh. He wanted to strike before Buell's Union Army of the Ohio could reinforce Grant. Johnston's plan went awry in the thick woods, with troops attacking piecemeal against strong points and not attacking gaps in the Union lines. To make matters worse, Johnston died while supervising a charge against the western side of the "Hornet's Nest", a strong point manned by Prentiss' Union division. By the end of the first day, April 6, 1862, the Rebels had failed to destroy Grant's army and Buell's men were already arriving. The second day was a disappointing one for the Confederates, as they were pushed back by the now combined Union Armies and forced to retreat. Shiloh is one of the few western battles which has received its due attention, although still not close to what your typical eastern battle will garner.


The Shiloh Campaign: March-April 1862 Revised Edition

David G. Martin
This is one of Combined Publishing's "Great Campaigns" series, and is a good book for those new to the battle. David Martin is also a very good writer, IMHO. A nice feature of this book that may interest scenario designers is the number and type of guns used by each battery present at the battle. You don't typically find this sort of reference in this series, so that came as an added bonus for me.

Shiloh 1862: The Death of Innocence


James Arnold
This is another Osprey book, and a good one at that. James Arnold is a good writer and also has a very nice one-volume Vicksburg book to his credit. The book features the typical Osprey series things: bright, colorful maps, full OOBs with troop breakdown by state, and of course the Wargaming Shiloh section in back. For you board wargamers out there, Arnold offers some nice command and control rules to simulate the confusion caused by the woods and the Rebels shoddy command arrangement. 96 pp., 8 maps
Wiley Sword
This book kind of got lost in the shuffle a few years back and I haven't yet read it. The maps look really good, and if Sword's other books are any indication, I'm sure the narrative is very good as well. The maps go down to the regimental level, and it looks as if Sword has managed to pinpoint the camps of most Union regiments. Since this book is older than Larry Daniel's, I would have to recommend his over this. If you want two books on Shiloh, this is the next one to get. 519 pp., 18 maps

Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War

Larry J. Daniel
If I could have only one book on Shiloh, this would probably be it. Some have said that the maps aren't very helpful, but I totally disagree. The maps are "zoomed in" on different parts of the fight, so as long as you have a decent idea where the subject of each map is in relation to the others, say by reading David Martin's Shiloh book first for example, you should have no problem. The maps are regimental level in many cases so scenario designers should definitely have this one in their collection. 430 pp., 15 maps

Eyewitnesses at the Battle of Shiloh

David R. Logsdon

(editor and compiler)

New 08/18/03 My Dad bought this book on our recent trip to Shiloh. I haven't read it yet, but it compiles eyewitness accounts of the various phases of the fighting. 108 pp.