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"A Man Apart: The Political Education of General William" Topic

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American Civil War

300 hits since 8 Apr 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2018 2:27 p.m. PST

….Sherman at the Battle of Shiloh

"The vicious storm that drenched the battlefield outside the Shiloh meeting house on the night of April 6-7, 1862, was a common feature of springtime in Tennessee. This particular storm battered not only the budding branches of Swamp White and Shingle Oak trees on the shores of the Tennessee River, but also two armies who had spent the prior day locked in vicious combat. Roaring thunder and rain cascading in sheets shrouded the day's horrific toll by drowning out the cries of the wounded and dying strewn about the ground and cloistered in hospital tents. The carnage was stunning to all involved, save for the prophet whose "gallant and able" leadership under fire prevented a catastrophe.[1] William Sherman's redemption was at hand

When the storm clouds cleared, the Union Army of the Tennessee launched a massive counterattack, driving P.T. Beauregard's Confederate Army of the Mississippi back to Corinth.[2] Ulysses Grant praised Sherman's leadership, cementing him as one of the Union's up and coming commanders. Yet, as the casualty lists grew, the veil of war's brutal nature was lifted for all to see. In response, the army's political masters and some of the men who volunteered for service pounced on the generals in command. Traditional biographies hold that the Battle of Shiloh was the dime that Sherman's military life turned upon. The ability to clearly connect the political resolve of South to the battlefield supposedly set him apart from his infamously cautious peers. Sherman's attitude towards his own volunteers and Union politicians at all levels tell a different story. A cautionary tale, even. Shiloh's aftermath instead shows us just how blind Sherman was to the North's political…"
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