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Ohio At Shiloh

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This book was written by the Ohio Shiloh Battlefield Commission and was published in 1903. It contains 226 pages and two maps. The latter is contained in a pocket inside the front cover. These maps shows both Union and Confederate troop positions at various times on both days of the battle..

As one can imagine, this book has long been out of print. However, it can still be found occasionally on Ebay in the $40-$60 price range. Books containing both maps are fairly rare.

The book begins with a historical sketch of each Ohio Regiment that is represented by a monument in the Shiloh Battlefield Park. This sketch typically includes information such as where the unit was organized, some info on the commanding officer and what if any combat experience the troops had prior to Shiloh. There is also an overview of what action the unit saw at Shiloh. Finally, there is a picture of the front of each monument. Any inscriptions on the monument is included at the end of the sketch.. Looking at these pictures taken in the early 1900's was most interesting... In many instances, by looking at the background one could see how the park had changed in the past 100 years..

The Commission was very candid in their analysis of officers that did not perform well.. This was especially true of Colonel Appler of the 53rd and Colonel Mason of the 71st Ohio. They also had very high praise for Colonel Worthington of the 46th Ohio and stated that the Battle of Shiloh would have likely had a different outcome if Colonel Worthingtons warnings had been heeded..

A fairly detailed description of the battle authored by Major D.W. Reed follows the historical sketches.. It is about 70 pages long and is an easy read. Though in several instances it does not agree with the way the battle is being interpreted today it does contain some good information.

Following the overview is several chpaters regarding the appointment of the Ohio Shiloh Battlefield Commission, the construction of the monuments and their dedication..

In summary, I found Ohio at Shiloh to be worthwhile. It is interesting and easily read. The historical sketches gives the reader an insight of the experience of not only the Ohio regiments but of the entire Union Army in general. The battle description by Major Reed provided and excellant overview of the battle. However, the reader would need some prior knowledge of the battle and battlefield to totally understand it..

All in all, I feel that Ohio At Shiloh belongs in the library of every serious student of the battle

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Guest Joseph Rose

Yes, this book is a very good resource, and it makes several good judgments on incidents which other books underplay or ignore.

Among the interesting commentary: the 53rd OH was isolated and in an untenable position, Stuart's regiments were on the left without artillery and totally isolated from any support whatsoever. and Worthington was "one of the few officers who appreciated the perilous position of the Union Army at Pittsburg Landing. Before the battle of Shiloh, he repeatedly urged his superior officers to entrench for the purpose of repelling an attack which he predicted would be made before the arrival of Buell."

It also describes artillery units which get less mention elsewhere.


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Found this in 'The New Orleans Daily Democrat' of April 11, 1878.



The Senate Military Committee to Investigate the Battle of Shiloh.

(Cincinnati Commercial)

Washington, April 7, -- The bill introduced by Senator Thurman for the relief of Col. Tom Worthington will cause to brought before the Senate Military Committee a history of the battle of Shiloh, so far as Gen. Sherman was concerned in managing the Union army. A large number of witnesses are to be summoned who were of the Seventy-seventh Ohio, immediately under the control of Sherman, besides other testimony of those by whom it is intended to prove that Sherman was surprised by the Confederates, and was criminally responsible for the great massacre of Union soldiers, and but for Worthington's command, which held the enemy for hours till relief came, the army would have been destroyed. The controversy has engendered very bitter feeling.


Does anyone know if these testimonies were actually given and how the can be found? Thank you, Roger.

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As to "The bill introduced by Senator Thurman for the relief of Col. Tom Worthington," the Columbia (TN) Herald & Mail 1878-05-03 indicated that Worthington delivered lectures as Sherman declined an inquiry. Two years later, the Chicago Tribune 1880-05-15 indicated that Worthington would get a cash payment ($962) to cover some of the period after his dismissal, but that he would get no court of inquiry from Congress.

It would have been interesting if testimony had been given.

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