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Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War Kindle Edition
Joe Dirck The Plain Dealer Shiloh is a riveting account of a confused battle fought on a rugged terrain by volunteer forces who still more closely resembled armed mobs than trained armies....Rich in anecdotal detail.
James M. Morris Newport News Press Shiloh will be appreciated by any Civil War bug who, dissatisfied with less complete accounts of this memorable battle in the West, delights in a carefully crafted and detailed re-creation of the Battle of Shiloh, the first great bloody battle of the war.
Donald Towles Louisville Courier-Journal A detailed account of those who led for the North and the South, blunders that were made on both sides, the ineptness of certain generals, the political machinations that took place in Washington and Richmond, and an examination of the personalities of high-ranking officers.
The Orlando Sentinel A penetrating analysis that makes a convincing case for the importance of the Shiloh campaign as one of the turning points of the Civil War --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B003719FVO
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster (30 June 2008)
- Language : English
- File size : 5244 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 620 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 976,912 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
Next, names. Daniel loves to call people and things by different names. The Confederate General Beauregard is often called the Creole. Why? Maybe he is one. He is from Louisiana. But how does that help us understand the Battle of Shiloh? Or anything. Is his heritage a source of contention? Maybe. But not in this book. Now Daniel calls Beauregard the Creole so many times that we are not confused. But he does the same thing with minor figures and troops. He will drop a minor officer's rank. This is fine for Grant or Bragg, well known figures, but not for captains and colonels.
This seems like an entertaining book for people who know a lot about Shiloh. Daniel seems like one of those teachers who knows a lot, but cannot give a meaningful lecture. When you read Sears or Guelzo or McPherson or Foote, you can follow the events. You know where the pieces fit. Here so little time is spent on each military unit's movements, that you can't see the forest for the trees.
I suggest you read another book on Shiloh first. Maybe two of them. Then come back. Some people, people who know things, regard Daniel's book highly. I have a library of several hundred books in The Civil War and have read most of them. This is not one I could recommend to a newcomer.
But man this book was told in a very confusing style, mainly having to do with problems with synching the narrative and the maps. The subchapters jump around to various points of the battlefield, maybe with a zoomed in map of a particular section, and you rapidly lose track of where you are on the overall battlefield, who's doing what, what time of day it is, etc. And this is true from the time the author starts talking about troop movements in the days leading up to the battle all the way through the blow by blow of the battle itself. Plus Daniel is going into lots of detail in the descriptions of the battle, but his narrative is not tracking the last map or the more recent map, and his hopping around between leadership designations for units versus numerical designations for units isn't uniform on the map. It's pretty exhausting to get through. I probably only would have been more confused had I woke up the morning of April 6th and found thousands of Confederates rushing at my tent.
Having read a fair amount about the Civil War, the value added I got here was on the detail on A.S. Johnston - his pre-war reputation, the pressures he was under to hold a huge amount of territory with a barely organized force, the collapse of his line with the fall of Fort Henry and Donelson, the condemnation he got for retreating from Kentucky and Tennessee to assemble his forces. He doesn't come off well here in this book at all with his poor operational planning, his failure to take control from Beauregard in the tactical execution, and his desire to lead from the front resulting in his fatal wounding. But this was an interesting aspect to the story as you try and sort through what kind of general he was, as you compare him to Bragg, Johnston, and Hood who later led the Army of Tennessee.
In summation, not a bad book to add to the Civil War library, just go in with the expectation that you'll need some background on the battle or a handy reference map before you jump into the book.
The book is well written and moves along nicely, but what really helps the most is the 15 maps that are included. They cover both the campaign and the battle and show most of the details that are talked about in the book. Sometimes one map is used to show too much, too long a period of time, but that's a quibble.
There are three major books on the battle, I own all three and this is the best by far. I appreciate the details in the book, the troop movements and the resulting combats, but I also appreciate his character sketches. The author does not have any axes to grind that I could detect with the result being a balanced treatment of a controversial event.
The first 100 pages or so provides the setting and strategy leading up to Shiloh while the remaining 200 pages focuses on the battle and strategic importance. The narrative is smooth and readable and the author appears to be fair in his criticism and praise for leaders on both sides.
The major problem I had with the book is the maps. While the ones in the book are of good quality and provide sufficient detail, in my humble opinion, there are just not enough to follow the many detailed troop movements and engagements described in the book.
Complaint aside, the book is a good read and is recommended. However, since I have not read other books on Shiloh (Wiley Sword, etc.), I cannot say for certain that this book is the definitive study of this bloody engagement.