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The Battle of Shiloh by Joseph W. Rich

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The Battle of Shiloh, by Joseph W. Rich, Iowa City, Iowa, published by the State Historical Society in 1911. Less than 150 pages.


Included on the 'Shiloh Top Seven' list by vtclark.


Not a recent work; no longer in copyright. But due to the magic of the Internet, freely available to interested readers.


The author, J. W. Rich, attended the University of Iowa and worked for a number of years as the university librarian. He was at Shiloh as a 24 year old member of the 12th Iowa Infantry Regiment, Co. E. His stated purpose in writing this book: 'to leave a clearer picture of the battle, in the mind of the reader.' Rich had time, and resources, on his side.


Rich became aware of the 'politics' behind the scenes; the friction between Halleck and Grant, and the 'turf war' between Halleck and Buell. Much detail, with references, is presented.


He was also acutely aware of the 'you were caught in your bed' belief of some writers, and appears to have been moved to write this book after the re-release (in 1895) of the 1867 work, Ohio in the War, by Whitelaw Reid. The restatement of Buell's status as 'Hero of Pittsburg Landing' may have sparked the desire to set the record straight.


An acolyte of D. W. Reed, Rich walked the battlefield with him in 1908. This book functions to support and extend Reed's lifelong study of the battle, and his search for truth.


The Battle of Shiloh also addresses 'The Lost Opportunity' (A. S. Johnston's death), and Lew Wallace's misadventure during Day 1.


Worth a read by every serious student of the battle, it can be accessed <archive.org/details/battleofshiloh00rich>


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