Smithsonian Journeys Dispatches

Shiloh in Pictures

To scroll through the images click the play button or place your cursor over the right hand side of the frame to make the photos move automatically. All photos were taken by Tour Manager Betsy Brand, Program Operations Assistant for Smithsonian Journeys, while out on Civil War: Shiloh and Brice's Crossroads May 6-10, 2009.

The Battle of Shiloh was fought on April 6-7, 1862 between Confederate troops, led by Generals Johnston and Beauregard, and the Union forces, led by Maj. General Ulysses S. Grant just outside of Savannah, Tennessee. After the first day of battle, the Confederates gained considerable ground, making successive defensive stands at Shiloh Church, the Peach Orchard, Water Oaks Pond, and the now famous Hornets' Nest (named for the sound of bullets flying through the air). Upon nightfall, the fighting ended with Grant's troops strongly positioned at Pittsburg Landing along the Tennessee River with Maj. General Don Carlos Buell coming in for reinforcement.

After losing General Johnston to a leg injury the previous day, Beauregard planned to finish the Union front, unaware of the arrival of Buell. However, it was Grant who attacked at dawn with 54,500 men to the Confederates increasingly weakened 34,000 who, despite counterattack efforts, were forced to withdrawl south to Corinth, Mississippi. At the end of the two days of bloody battle both sides had combined losses of 23,746 men killed, wounded, or missing, more casualties than any previous American war.

Click here to learn more about our Civil War journeys, led by military historian Ed Bearss.