Jump to content
Shiloh Discussion Group
Perry Cuskey

New Books on Shiloh

Recommended Posts

On John's recommendation (and Dr. Smith's reputation), I purchased Corinth 1862 Siege, Battle, Occupation. I usually like to reserve judgement on books until I've gotten at least to page 100. That keeps me from giving up on some books that start out slow but finish great. This one had me before I was done with the Preface and Prologue. My understanding of the battle has always been one big void. After one reading, that void is a lot smaller. One caveat. Dr. Smith, like most others, fails to properly go into the importance of the 16th WI. This may be due to the fact that he tends to look at the battle from a Brigade level view. Alas, more the loss. This book is going to the top shelf of the CW research collection. I know I'll be referencing it often.

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grandpa, Part three, Chapter Seventeen is titled Wood's Farm, Southwest of Shiloh Church April 6, 1862. The book has Gen. Johnston sleeping in an ambulance on the farm. Just before dawn, he witnesses another argument amongst his generals as to whether they should call off the attack. It is here, according to the author, that Johnston realizes that Beauregard has lost his nerve. For this reason, Johnston leaves Beauregard to the rear, in charge, "Perhaps it is best if General Beauregard commands the paperwork."

Jim

Jim,

The Johnston site is on the Wood farm now but I'm not sure about in 1862. My grandfather bought the property with the Johnston site in 1909. The property that he bought included two tracts previously owned by Peter Wood (Elsie Duncan's Bro. Peter). But it also included another tract which could possibly have been a part of Peter's land in 1862. This is per research by CD. CD is doing additional research to see if that third tract may have once been a part of Bro. Peter's property.The part about the ambulance sounds right. Don't know if I read it or heard it, but it sounds correct. I was always told that uncle Jim Wood said that Gen. Johnston was camped (they never used the term bivouaced) just off the road under a large post oak tree, but I don't remember if anyone ever mentioned an ambulance.

Grandpa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I take it Tim Smith's book passes muster correct?

Tomorrow I am going to try and acquire a copy of Brave Men's Tears by Alan Graff - about the Wisconsin and Indiana boys at Brawners Farm. They made a respectable showing against a much larger force lead by T. J. Jackson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Idaho......

I've walked the area of the Brawner Farm quite a bit and enjoyed Graff's book. Hope you do, too. Just amazing how close the troops were firing at one another once they left the Warrenton Turnpike.

If I remember correctly, I took a certain Lakers fan on a tour of that area several years ago.

The Manassas Belle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Belle: I just ordered the book, 2nd to last copy, from the bookstore. Expect it will be a good read. I hope to get to Manassas in early October to wander around some. We were there firing cannons this past Thursday but had very little extra time to do or see much. The Laker fan you mention should come out and we could go on a hike together. ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Belle remembers correctly, and the certain Laker/Thunder fan she mentions would be very glad to take a walking tour of Brawner Farm with the two of you one of these days. Although I won't be in the area this October, sad to say. Beautiful little park they have there though. That "Brave Men's Tears" book is a good read, Sharon. I think you'll enjoy it.

Perry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm waiting to read Tim Smith's book myself, although the price on it at most places is a little higher than I wanna pay for it right now, so I'll wait a little bit. James Lee Mcdonough's "Shiloh, In Hell Before Night", was an excellent read that I highly suggest. I actually just finished his other book "Stones River, Bloody Winter in Tennessee", a great author! Looking forward to Tim's book though, after I finish my current book "American Brutus" by Michael Kauffman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim's book on Corinth will probably come down a bit when the paperback version is released. I picked up a copy of the hardback this past November, and am still reading it. (Slow reader, multi-book reader. It's a curse, but it's my curse.) It's a very good read though.

Student of Sherman, McDonough's book might be the most readable of the major books on Shiloh, for lack of a better way of putting it. But reading some of the other major works (Sword, Daniel, Cunningham), will give you some different perspectives, as they each have a slightly different view of things. That way you can share our confusion. ;)

Perry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim's book on Corinth will probably come down a bit when the paperback version is released. I picked up a copy of the hardback this past November, and am still reading it. (Slow reader, multi-book reader. It's a curse, but it's my curse.) It's a very good read though.

Student of Sherman, McDonough's book might be the most readable of the major books on Shiloh, for lack of a better way of putting it. But reading some of the other major works (Sword, Daniel, Cunningham), will give you some different perspectives, as they each have a slightly different view of things. That way you can share our confusion. ;)

Perry

That's true, I have indeed wanted to read Larry's & Wiley's books as well..hopefully I'll be able to get around to them after a couple others I have set to read. But like you, I'm not the world's fastest reader either sadly..if I go too quick I forget everything I read, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's odd, the things I'll remember and the things I'll forget after reading something. But my memory seems to be like that. Like I said to someone on Facebook earlier, I can relate details from a battle that took place 150 years ago, but I couldn't tell you where I put my keys down last night.

Anyway, as to books on Shiloh, here's a link to a topic we had on that subject a few years back, where members were asked for their list of best books on the battle. Some old ones, some new ones, and a lot of good ones....

http://shilohdiscuss...op-7-book-list/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have ADD when it comes to reading. Sometimes I'll read a book everyday until its done, other times It might take a few weeks. It took me since last October to finish Cozzen's, No Better Place to Die. I "plan" to work my way through Bearss Vicksburg trilogy before May. If anyone is thinking about Vicksburgs 150th, it is planned to coinside with Memorial Day weekend in May, not July like I thought. The wife and I will be there all week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Idea on Bearss' Vicksburg. I was heading to the library tomorrow anyhow. Here is what I received from the NPS on Vicksburg's 150th:

We are happy to assist you with your inquiry regarding Vicksburg

National Military Park's upcoming Sesquicentennial Events. Our

"Signature Event" will be held Memorial Day Weekend, beginning

Thursday, May 23 - Monday, May 27, 2013. We chose this weekend

because the Vicksburg Campaign lasts so long and also to avoid

conflict with our colleagues at Gettysburg. However, we do have an

Illumination Event scheduled for July 4, 2013. This is where we will

be placing illuminaries at all of the State Memorials marking the

casualties from each state. We have enclosed a link with further

information and do hope you find this useful. Please contact us if we

can be of further assistance, and we look forward to your upcoming

visit.

http://www.nps.gov/vick/planyourvisit/vicksburg-national-military-park-cw150-events.htm

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I've read from reviews & feedback on here and also other various sites, I have the feeling the next Shiloh book I'm gonna check out will be Wiley Sword's. It seems to have the best overall feedback from most people who have read it. With Larry Daniel's book, I read a lot of people saying that it is mainly a one-sided perspective and basically a history of the confederate army that was at Shiloh. (Mind you this is only hearsay evidence on my part because I haven't read it)

But I myself am not a big fan of books that concentrate solely on one side or the other. Like it was said of former President John Adams, I am a man who appreciates Balance, and balance is what I like to enjoy while reading historical books and its information on both sides. Can't wait to dive into it though when I get the chance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I've said before that Wiley Sword's is my favorite book on Shiloh, so no argument from me about his book being a good read. His is probably the most detailed of the major books. But, Manning Force's book from the 1880's might give him a run for his money on that front.

All that said, I would have to take issue with the folks who described Larry Daniel's book as being one-sided toward the southern army. Short version of my response to that idea is that personally, I think he's pretty even-handed, as are Sword and Cunningham.

Perhaps the one-sided charge stems from a what-if perspective. Since the South lost the battle, most of the speculation about what went wrong and what might have gone differently naturally tends to center on the Confederates. I don't know if that's the case or not, but regardless, I disagree with that characterization of Larry Daniel's book.

I think the same sort of 'charge' has been leveled at Sword in fact, perhaps because of his preoccupation with A.S. Johnston. Sword tends to be more sympathetic toward Johnston than Daniel. Scratch that, not "tends" to be more sympathetic. "Is" more sympathetic. But maybe that's giving away too much information.

Both books are excellent in my opinion, just in different ways. Hope to hear your opinion about one or both after you've read them, as well as anything else you come across. That's part of why we're here. :)

Perry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting, I picked up Daniel's book at the library today to reread. The only real bias I remember from the book is against properly documenting the 16th WI. I'll check out any Reb sympathising!

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't make the mistake that I did. When considering Sword's, Daniel's and Cunningham's books about the Battle of Shiloh, don't make the mistake in thinking one is better than the other. Despite the differances individuaaly between them, they all are good books about the battle, and they are enjoyable. These three I consider to be the first tier of Shiloh Books but when you get into the second and third tiers is when it becomes evendent that these books of these tiers are not the same. What I did was to read the first tier books more than once and then to fill out the questions and voids by selecting what books to read of the lower tiers. An example of a second tier book is the biograpohy of Geneeral Albert Sidney Johnston by his son, Colonel William Preston Johnston, titled "The Like of General Albert Sidney Johnston".

I have to add to the first tier for the value of the information as its use as a resource for all CW subjects is the "official Records of the Civil War". A wealth of information.

Regards

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welp, I wonder what he really thinks? :)

 

Maybe it's a good read if you take it strictly as novel, and forget about the "historical" part. I haven't read it myself, and don't plan to.

 

Perry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yall might have seen this book on the FB page but i wanted you to know this a interesting book."Shiloh-.Place of Peace,Piece of Hell" by H Grady Howll and many pictures by Mike Talplacido

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×