Battle of Shiloh - April 6, 1862 | American Battlefield Trust
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Battle of Shiloh - April 6, 1862

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Battle of Shiloh - Day One - April 6, 1862 (April 2019)
Battle of Shiloh - Day One - April 6, 1862 (April 2019)

American Battlefield Trust's Map of the Battle of Shiloh (Day One)

At daybreak on Sunday, April 6, three corps of Confederate infantry stormed out of the woods and swept into the southernmost Federal camps of Benjamin M. Prentiss’ division. Soon, the nearby divisions of John C. McClernand and Stephen Hurlbut were also struck. Intense fighting stretched from Shiloh Church on the Yankee right to the Peach Orchard on the left. Sherman's men counterattacked but slowly lost ground and fell back northeast toward Pittsburg Landing.

For six hours, Confederate brigades charged into Union defenders from Prentiss’ Sixth Division and William H. L. Wallace’s Second Division at the “Hornets’ Nest.” Rebel division commander Daniel Ruggles assembled 62 artillery pieces to blast the Union line barely 400 yards away. The Confederates surrounded the position and forced nearly 2,300 Yankees to surrender, including Prentiss. Wallace went down nearby with a fatal wound.

Johnston was shot in the right knee as he rode ahead of his troops, bleeding to death within minutes. Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard called a halt to the attacks as darkness approached. Grant ordered forward Lewis “Lew” Wallace's reserve Third Division from downriver. Due to a series of delays, Wallace would not arrive in time to form a counterattack.

Learn More: The Battle of Shiloh