Army of Northern Virginia: February to September 1862

Battle of Shiloh

When was the crisis?

The whole day was a crisis, so far as the Union defenders were concerned. For the Confederates, however, the crisis came at around 4 P.M. They could feel that it was now or never: they must push the Yankees to the river, or be pushed back themselves.

One area, near the Union center, was attacked fourteen times. The Confederates made major successes, including receiving the surrender of General McClernand and almost 3,000 of his men, but they never pushed the Northern men off their last row of defenses. As the sun went down, men on both sides were horrified by the loss of life, which far exceeded anything they had previously seen. The rain that evening turned to hail, and some men who lay on the ground wounded may well have died from exposure.


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