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JimG

Basic Bibliography

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I was thinking about the various books on the battle. If you wanted to study the battle , what would be a basic bibliography to start with ? I am not asking to rate them just list the basic ones. I would also like to know which books would be good for a study of the artillery at Shiloh?

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Jim;

Currently, there are four books in the modern literature of the battle, that are good.  They are;

1.  Shiloh and the Western Campaign, by Edward Cunningham.  Published by Savas Beatie LLC 2007, New York Ny  ISBN  1932714278.  This is actually his 1966 college PHD thesis.  I, along with the park rangers rate this very good.  Incidentally, it covers the artillery better than the other books. 

2.  Shiloh, The Battle that changed the Civil War, by Larry Daniel.  Simon & Schuster, New York NY  1997 ISBN 0684803755.  Rated high.

3.  Shiloh, Bloody April by Wiley Sword, published by Morngside House, Inc Dayron OH 1974  Rated high.  A revised edition has been recently published.

4. Shiloh in Hell before Night by James Lee McDonough, University of Tennessee Press Knoxville TN 1977.  Medium rated because it is not detailed, more general in nature.  

Of special note, a surprise recommendation,

5.  The Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston by his son Colonel William Preston Johnston.  Orginally published in 1879 but recently reissued by DaCapo Press, New York Ny in 1997 ISBN 0306807912.  Surprisingly good, with many battle details.  Yes, the author defends his father but still a good read.

 

6.  The Offical Records of the Civil War.  The information in these books are bits and pieces type of research with most being complete reports of the officers but the reader has to put them in their proper context.  I refer to the Offical Records constantly.

Artillery

7.  Sadly, the details of the artillery fighting and tactics are not well covered in any of these above books.  There is a report by Ed Bearss called Artillery Study No. 17 concerning the artillery units but little of fighting and nothing about tactics.  Limited information which is mainly a short bio of the artillery units.

8.  The more recent book entitled "Shiloh, Shells and Artillery Units" by George F. Witham is actually Bearss artillery study expanded to include information of the shells fired during the battle. If you read Bearss study you don't need Witham's book.

9.  A book about artillery is "The Pride of the Confederacy, The Washington Artillery in the Army of Tennessee, by Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr.  Published by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge LA, 1997  ISBN 0807121878.  A good book for the history of Hodgson's Louisiana Battery at Shiloh, and some of other artillery units.  mentions artillery tactics somewhat.

10.  The final book is "Shiloh, a failure in command" by Ronald Black (thats me).  unpublished but still working on it, since 2000. It will probably be ready in 2050 at this rate. It will be too long and too expensive to purchase but Im having fun writing and researching it.  Of coarse, this is the best book of all.

Most of information of artillery I found was bits and pieces collected from many sources.  

Units

11.  The Battle of Shiloh and the organizations engaged by David w Reed.  Federal Government, Washington D C 1913  out of print.  The work of Major Reed was the source of the placement of the tablets and cannons on the Shiloh Battlefield.

Read your heart out. 

Ron

 

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Good question, Jim.

In addition to Ron's excellent suggestions, I'll toss out what I personally think is probably the best single overview of Shiloh out there at present. It's not even a book. It's the 1997 Blue & Gray special issue on Shiloh written by Stacy Allen. You should be able to order a copy through the park bookstore - 731-689-3475.

It was originally two issues long, but B&G eventually combined the two into a single issue. I'm not sure, but they may have done so specifically to sell them at the park. I've checked the Blue & Gray web site, and while they do show Part 2 for sale as a back-ordered issue, they don't show Part 1, and they don't show the combined issue at all. But, for a general overview of the battle, that also incorporates some of the more up-to-date research (meaning that the Hornet's Nest doesn't dominate the story), Stacy Allen's article is hard to beat. It also has some very good maps. I think it would give anyone a good foundation from which to start.

On D.W. Reed's recently re-issued book, you can also still read it online for free. I haven't read the actual book version though, so I don't know what the differences might be between that and the original version, if any.

Incidentally Ron, we all expect a signed copy of your book when it's finished. No arguments about that. Just finish it, and get to signing.

Perry

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I was asking just to see what the reponse was, I have most of the recommended books. I have ordered the life of Albert S. Johnston. Seeing Ron plucked his un finished book I put a plug in for mine, "A Study of the Artillery Units at Shiloh" . That is a working title I think of something snapper when I send to a publisher.

 

Jim G

 

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I agree with the list of books above-as to the Blue and gray issue of Stacey Allen's they have it at the bookstore and sell out often.so you may try there.So get to reading and you'll be ready for April "09  (p.s. they have even begun to think that far ahead at the Park-but we can only hope)And yes I'd like a signed_do like to get all my books signed if at all possible-when you finish yours.

mona

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Jim

 Hello all the books mentioned are good,one i would like to add on artillery is confederate foundarys by Larry Dainel and Riley Gunter. Riley works for Shiloh Relics and really good on artillery and i believe is the largest individual orginal cannon owner in the u.s. I would also like one of your books Ron but tell me what is wrong with defending A.S. Jhonston:D Good look with the book i wished i had that talent

perry neal

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Nothing wrong with defending your father.  However, I have had too many biographies ruined by the zest and zeal of the author to defend, build up, excuse, elevate, and overlook bad deeds of their hero.  This is how to make a good book into a bad book.  The book by Colonel William Preston Johnston mentioned above is not one of those.  Its a good read about the early operations in the confederate west.

A word of caution is that I say these good comments about the book but I skipped all of the book until the civil war begins.  I'm not interested in pre-civil war events.

Ron 

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I mentioned this in the "Announcements" section before I found this subject about "Books".

The Traer Iowa Historical Museum has put out a new book containing a diary and many letters from men of Company G 14th Iowa Infantry. The book is called "Soldier Life-Many Must Fall". Larry Daniel's book "Shiloh" quotes a line from this diary on page 204. Very nice photographs of these men were found just this year and are published for the very first time.

One thing I didn't mention in my post earlier is that it was published by the Camp Pope Bookshop of Iowa City, which specializes in books about the Western theater, especially unit histories. They have a really good catalogue.

Another nice thing about the book is that it has several letters from soldiers camped at Pittsburg Landing that have never been previously published, or only published in their local newspapers during the War. I think a couple letters were only discovered this year. Except for footnotes, the book is all first person accounts and is 288 pages in a 8 x 11 hardback with a very nice dust jacket.

I received the book as a Christmas present and am stillreading it, but have liked it so much so far I'd thought I'd pass the word along to others who may be interested in what happened to the brave men after the Hornets' Nest, a subject rarely discussed, not even in any of the Shiloh books mentioned previously (which are all good). I have been seeking books or resources specifically about the Shiloh Hornets' Nest POWs. If any one has other suggestions for future reading, please list them here.

I really am enjoying this site. Thank you to the people who have put this up. I can't write a book or put up a website but I can at least pass the word when I find good resources I enjoy.

 

 

 

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Welcome to the group, Triple R. :)

Thanks for the kind words about the board. Glad you're enjoying it. I'm hoping we can improve it even more over time.

Thanks as well for the great information about that new book on the 14th Iowa. It sounds very good indeed. You make a good point about how the soldiers often fade from the story once they are captured. I think you have the makings of a good magazine article concerning the Hornet's Nest POW's, or perhaps even a book idea. Off hand I can't contribute any source ideas to help out, but some others here may be able to do so. Also, and you may well have already done this, you might contact the park personnel at Shiloh itself, as well as the various state historical societies that had units defending the Hornet's Nest and Sunken Road.

Please keep us posted on how your research comes along. It's a subject that doesn't typically draw a lot of attention, but it's a lot like visiting a battlefield park. You can learn a lot by following the main tour, but sometimes the most rewarding things are found by straying off into areas most folks don't get out to.

Perry

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Perry, Thanks in return for your kind words.

You know, not all the men of the 14th Iowa at Shiloh making the stand at the Hornets' Nest were Iowans. As Grant collected his men at Pittsburg Landing, Union men from the surrounding area came to the camp to volunteer. The 14th was three companies short because A, B and C were detached and sent to the Dakotas tp prevent a Sioux uprising in Minnesota and Iowa. As Tennessee men came in to Grant's army to fight for the Union, some of them were placed into the 14th Iowa's Company H.

After the surrender of the Nest some of these loyal Unionist men were among those taken POW and as local southern men they faced the additional risks of reprisals from their secessionist neighbors. Therefore they had more on the line than the Iowa men. There were a few men from Lawrenceburg who are specifically mentioned in this book, and they shared the dangers of the battle and the trials of the POW camps alongside the men from Iowa. As I read their story I wondered if they had descendants still in the Lawrenceburg area.

I always like reading the first person accounts more than any thing else, and these accounts are some of the best. It is much more than just an Iowa story. Anyway, thanls agin for all the work you do to keep this website up and running. It is a very nice, and informative, and well organized site.

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