Battle Of Shiloh Essay

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The American Civil War started with a series of minor encounters, resulting in a relatively small number of casualties. The Battle of Shiloh became the first of several engagements that experienced large-scale death, and provided the Union with a key victory early in the war. The battle also marked a turning point strategically, as General Grant came to the realization that the Confederate States did not seek a peace treaty and preservation of the Union would only follow their complete dominance. The historical narratives surrounding this hallmark battle are less than clear, leading to difficulty compiling a unified narrative. The First Brigade of the Sixth Infantry Division of the West Tennessee Army initiated the battle, as told in numerous …show more content…

One display of communication failures proving to be catastrophic is the fall of the Hornet’s Nest. General Prentiss claims he maintained open and frequent communications with the divisions to his flanks, the Fourth Division under General Hurlbut and the Second Divison commanded by General W.H.L Wallace. Once General Hurlbut retreated as result of a strong Confederate advance, this left Generals Wallace and Prentiss without direct cover to their flank, which they decided would be worth the risk. The two brave generals did not, however, know that all of the units around beyond Hurlbut also retreated, leaving them completely isolated at the Hornet’s Nest. When General Prentiss first learned of his situation, the enemy was already encircling him, prompting him to order an all-or-nothing assault on the enemy that failed. The lack of communication between Prentiss and the rear elements led to the capture of several regiments, dealing a crippling blow to the Union capabilities for the remainder of the battle on the Sixth of April. At this time, couriers still carried messages from commander to commander, which led to long delays in information distribution. Additionally, if a courier is captured or becomes a casualty, it will likely take several hours before this is realized and the message be resent. Command without in depth coordination between adjacent units is highly inefficient and is not reliable for the conduct of

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