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Who really won the battle of Shiloh? - The Battle of Shiloh - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Sat Sep 27th, 2008 04:19 pm
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Old Blu
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Who really won the battle of Shiloh?  I am reading a book now that seems to think it was a draw based on the fact both armies ended up the same as they started with the exception of those killed.



 Posted: Sat Sep 27th, 2008 08:04 pm
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ole
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What's the book, Blu? (Aren't we already talking about this on another thread?) I'd be interested in reading (or hearing of) the argument that Shiloh was a draw -- especially given the reality that Beau's people left the field (or was chased off it, depending on one's perception).

ole



 Posted: Sun Sep 28th, 2008 01:34 am
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Old Blu
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ole wrote: What's the book, Blu? (Aren't we already talking about this on another thread?) I'd be interested in reading (or hearing of) the argument that Shiloh was a draw -- especially given the reality that Beau's people left the field (or was chased off it, depending on one's perception).

ole

This is the only thread I have talked about this on.  The book is-The Warrior Generals-Combat Leadership in the Civil War by Thomas B. Buell



 Posted: Sun Sep 28th, 2008 04:52 am
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ole
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Shoot! Don't have that one. Will take your word for it and acknowledge that the theory does have its adherents. Don't have one that argues for a flat earth either, so I guess I don't have much backup to stand on.



 Posted: Sun Sep 28th, 2008 05:38 am
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Ole is thinking of CWT & VAReb's thread there.



 Posted: Sun Sep 28th, 2008 05:44 am
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I can't see Shiloh as a CS victory or even as a draw. Day 1 succesful assault that petered out due to poor staff work, & worse Command and Control. Day 2... US counterattack that drove the CS from all of their day 1 gains and forced them to withdraw all the way to their start line and further. W/ the exception of Chickamauga, which can be argued as a counterattack, the CS would never again really hold the initiative west of the Appalachia.

Even w/ Hood TN campaign there was never again a Major CS strike into US territory w/ the realistic goal of retaking trerritory lost. Strategicly the CS in the West was moving backward, giving up territory; while there were localized successes in retaking territory it was never for the long term.



 Posted: Sun Sep 28th, 2008 06:09 am
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ole
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Thanks, Johan. The thinker I get, the better I drunk. (Sometimes.)

 



 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 12:34 am
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The Confederates failed to destroy Grant's army and then were themselves driven back to Corinth. Shiloh was no draw.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 04:02 am
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Who really won the battle of Shiloh?  I am reading a book now that seems to think it was a draw based on the fact both armies ended up the same as they started with the exception of those killed.

Finally went back to Old Blue's first post. I can only figure that some books covering old territory need a fresh argument to become interesting. I'd guess claiming that Shiloh was a draw would interest a publisher. Seems to me to be a claim too far, but I don't have the book, am not likely to get the book, so it's moot -- except that I can see no draw whatsoever in that particular fracas. The Confederates almost pulled off a good chance to keep Grant in the hinterlands. It didn't work. They lost.

ole



 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 10:07 am
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gettysburgerrn
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I tend to agree with most of the above posts - The confederate objective was to crush the Federals and drive them into the river. That did not happen and ultimately the attackers were driven back the next day...Sounds like a defeat to me. I guess calling it a draw builds up suspense for the next book to see who really won the war...

ken:-)



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 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 02:22 pm
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To quote Bruce Catton from This Hallowed Ground:

"On paper, Shiloh was a draw; actually it was one of the decisive battles of the war. It was the battle the Confederacy simply had to win. For it had been a blow struck to restore a disastrously lost balance, a desperate attempt to re-establish the Confederate frontier in the Kentucky-Ohio Valley. It had failed, and the fact that it had come close to being a dazzling victory did not offset the failure..."

Tom



 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 02:45 pm
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Can't get any better than that .  Bruce Catton quoted by the guy that is a Park Ranger at Corinth and before that was at Shiloh.  There you have it!!! Thanks Tom.



 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 10:58 pm
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Old Blu
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The Iron Duke wrote: The Confederates failed to destroy Grant's army and then were themselves driven back to Corinth. Shiloh was no draw.

And Grant failed to destroy the Confederates. They weren't driven to Corinth.  They left  voluntarily to regroup.



 Posted: Tue Sep 30th, 2008 01:19 am
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They left voluntarily because they had failed to drive the US forces into the river and if they had stayed they would have been destroyed.

The CS quit the field because of enemy action not because it felt like a fun thing to do. Both sides were badly blooded, with the side better able to recover the more dangerous. The CS forces didn't go back over to the offensive; they retreated and the US pursued, if at a glacial pace.



 Posted: Tue Sep 30th, 2008 01:39 am
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The Iron Duke
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The Confederates were counterattacked off the battlefield and fled back to Corinth. I don't see what is so controversial about my statement.  Leaving a battlefield voluntarily would be Bragg at Stones River or Lee at Gettysburg but that is not the case with Shiloh.

Last edited on Tue Sep 30th, 2008 01:42 am by The Iron Duke



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 Posted: Tue Sep 30th, 2008 02:00 am
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The Iron Duke wrote: The Confederates were counterattacked off the battlefield and fled back to Corinth. I don't see what is so controversial about my statement.  Leaving a battlefield voluntarily would be Bragg at Stones River or Lee at Gettysburg but that is not the case with Shiloh.


I beg your pardon.  The counter attack put everyone at the same place on the battlefield as when they started.  When the fighting was over, then the Confederate army withdrew to Corinth.  The point is, both armies were still intact.

The reason for the controversy is your statement is incorrect.




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