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Edward Cunningham

Gary D. Joiner

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Shiloh

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Shiloh
and the Western Campaign of 1862

Edward Cunningham, edited by Gary D. Joiner and Timothy B. Smith

Format: Paperback, 520 pages
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-932714-34-0
On Sale: June 2009

Format: Hardcover, 520 pages
Price: SOLD OUT!
ISBN: 1-932714-27-8
On Sale: April 15, 2007

30 original maps, 62 photos

The bloody and decisive two-day battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862) changed the entire course of the American Civil War. The stunning Northern victory thrust Union commander Ulysses S. Grant into the national spotlight, claimed the life of Confederate commander Albert S. Johnston, and forever buried the notion that the Civil War would be a short conflict. Read More...

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About this Book

The bloody and decisive two-day battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862) changed the entire course of the American Civil War. The stunning Northern victory thrust Union commander Ulysses S. Grant into the national spotlight, claimed the life of Confederate commander Albert S. Johnston, and forever buried the notion that the Civil War would be a short conflict.

The conflagration at Shiloh had its roots in the strong Union advance during the winter of 1861-1862 that resulted in the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson in Tennessee. The offensive collapsed General Albert S. Johnston advanced line in Kentucky and forced him to withdraw all the way to northern Mississippi. Anxious to attack the enemy, Johnston began concentrating Southern forces at Corinth, a major railroad center just below the Tennessee border. His bold plan called for his Army of the Mississippi to march north and destroy General Grant’s Army of the Tennessee before it could link up with another Union army on the way to join him.

On the morning of April 6, Johnston boasted to his subordinates, “Tonight we will water our horses in the Tennessee!” They nearly did so. Johnston’s sweeping attack hit the unsuspecting Federal camps at Pittsburg Landing and routed the enemy from position after position as they fell back toward the Tennessee River. Johnston’s sudden death in the Peach Orchard, however, coupled with stubborn Federal resistance, widespread confusion, and Grant’s dogged determination to hold the field, saved the Union army from destruction. The arrival of General Don C. Buell’s reinforcements that night turned the tide of battle. The next day, Grant seized the initiative and attacked the Confederates, driving them from the field. Shiloh was one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war, with nearly 24,000 men killed, wounded, and missing.

Edward Cunningham, a young Ph.D. candidate studying under the legendary T. Harry Williams at Louisiana State University, researched and wrote Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 in 1966. Although it remained unpublished, many Shiloh experts and park rangers consider it to be the best overall examination of the battle ever written. Indeed, Shiloh historiography is just now catching up with Cunningham, who was decades ahead of modern scholarship.

Western Civil War historians Gary D. Joiner and Timothy B. Smith have resurrected Cunningham’s beautifully written and deeply researched manuscript from its undeserved obscurity. Fully edited and richly annotated with updated citations and observations, original maps, and a complete order of battle and table of losses, Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 will be welcomed by everyone who enjoys battle history at its finest.

Edward Cunningham

Edward Cunningham was one of the bright young scholars of the mid-1960s, earning his Ph.D. under the legendary Dr. T. Harry Williams at Louisiana State University...
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Gary D. Joiner

Gary D. Joiner, Ph.D. teaches history classes at LSU-Shreveport and is the owner of Precision Cartographics. Gary is the author of many articles and several books...
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Timothy B. Smith

Timothy Smith holds a Ph.D. from Mississippi State in history and works for the National Park Service as a ranger at Shiloh National Battlefield Park.
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