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Ozzy

Shiloh Masters Thesis

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Historical Analysis of the Battle of Shiloh is a Masters Thesis submitted to the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB in Alabama in 1984 by then-Major F. John Semley. The paper is fifty pages in length (41 pages of actual content, with several hand-drawn maps) and is held by the Defense Technical Information Center as pdf at following:

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a144009.pdf   Semley paper on Battle of Shiloh

Although written over thirty years ago, Major Semley presents a cohesive, coherent analysis of the Battle of Shiloh that most members of SDG will find refreshing: Peabody and Powell get appropriate mention; timings for all events are reasonably accurate; the cause of Lew Wallace's late arrival is given proper attention; causes of the Confederate Force to fail to achieve its objective on Day One is handled with grace and tact.

Highlighted items:

  • Grant's "failings" in lead-up to Battle of Shiloh (many of them self-inflicted)
  • Beauregard's failings in massaging the Confederate Battle Plan into something too complex, losing sight of the objective;
  • "No experienced Union Division was positioned at the front"
  • Discussion of the disputed "lost hour" of the Confederate attack, before end of Day One;
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fallen Timbers rate a mention.

Presented in three segments, the First segment describes the Battle, Days One and Two; the Second segment offers analysis of Shiloh (with regard to USAF Doctrine IRT war fighting) and Section Three offers opportunity for Discussion, with such questions, "Why was Grant at Savannah?' and "Why did Grant and Beauregard fail to achieve their objectives?" and "Why were there no appropriate defenses at Pittsburg campground?" 

Appropriate references (author credits J. L. McDonough (1977) "Shiloh: in Hell before Night" as his main inspiration.)

Well worth your time to review, and determine "how close Major Semley comes to the correct analysis"

Ozzy

 

 

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