Army of Northern Virginia: February to September 1862

Battle of Shiloh

What was that night like?

It was—with one exception—the worst night of the war (see page 277). The cold made the men’s wounds more difficult to bear, and the pelting rain turned the battlefield into one great site of misery. The screams of the wounded kept most men up all night, and the adrenaline created by their heroics made it nearly impossible to rest (one can compare this to the raised adrenaline that we experience after an automobile accident).

The morning of April 7, 1862, revealed a battlefield soaked in blood. Some of the Confederates believed they were close to victory and wanted to resume the fight, but General Beauregard refused. Then Grant struck, with all his force.


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