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Battle of Shiloh 1862 - American Civil War
April 6th 1862 the melody of the dawn chorus was shattered by the opening artillery barrage and the sweeping attack of General Albert Sydney Johnston’s Confederate (CSA) troops across Fraley field. General Ulysses S Grant’s Union (US) troops were taken by surprise having not yet broken camp (fig 1).
Fig 1
A desperate battle erupted with the US troops having to fall back on the left flank and in the centre. But fortunately because of an uncoordinated attack in the centre the CSA were countered by a US brigade and were forced back (fig 2).
Fig 2
On the US left the field was lost and a viscous fight occurred across the sucked road of the Hornets Nest. The initial US counter attack in the centre was checked and slowly pushed back, but a second gained steam and the CSA were pushed back once again. On the right the CSA pushed consciously into the wood to engage the US troops, whilst a brigade flanked around it (fig 3).
Fig 3
Having contacted the road towards Pittsburg Landing the flanking brigade dashed to cut-off the US supply lines. Seeing their jeopardy the US withdrew a brigade to secure the crossing, but it arrived too late. The now weaken centre could not withstand the CSA pressure and gave way. The CSA continued the assault through the wood of the US right, causing the US troops to slowly give their ground. General Grant having now moved to the left flank of the US army, now launched a counter attack with all available brigades (fig 4).
Fig 4
The final stage of the battle was a desperate action at Pittsburg Landing, were the shattered US brigades attempted to check the CSA without success. The US left continued to sweep the CSA brigades away, but the landing was lost and the Confederation claimed a Victory (fig 5).
Fig 5
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