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Battle of Shiloh facts for kids

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Battle of Shiloh
Battle of Pittsburg in Landing
Part of the Western Theater of the American Civil War
Thure de Thulstrup - Battle of Shiloh (cropped).jpg
The Battle of Shiloh by Thulstrup
Date April 6–7, 1862
Result Union victory
 United States  Confederate States
Commanders and leaders
Ulysses S. Grant
Don Carlos Buell
Albert Sidney Johnston 
P. G. T. Beauregard
Units involved
Army of Mississippi

63,000 (estimated):

  • Army of the Tennessee: 44,894
  • Army of the Ohio:
    ∼ 17,918
Casualties and losses
(1,754 killed;
 8,408 wounded;
 2,885 captured/missing)
(1,728 killed;
 8,012 wounded;
 959 captured/missing)

The Battle of Shiloh was a battle in the American Civil War. It was fought on April 6 and April 7, 1862, in Tennessee. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.


The Union Army of the Tennessee was commanded by Ulysses S. Grant. Grant had captured Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in western Tennessee during the early months of 1862. This forced the Confederate Army to leave Kentucky, western Tennessee, and central Tennessee.

Grant wanted to capture the city of Corinth, Mississippi, next. But his superior, Henry W. Halleck, didn't want Grant to go any further south until other Union soldiers joined him. So Grant moved his army to a place called Pittsburg Landing, which was on the Tennessee River. There was a church near the landing called Shiloh Church. His army stayed there for several weeks.

Shiloh Church
Re-built Shiloh Church in 2006

General Albert Sidney Johnston commanded the Confederates. Johnston's second-in-command was P. G. T. Beauregard. Beauregard came up with a plan to recapture western Tennessee. Confederate soldiers from all over the Western theater gathered in Corinth. Then, starting on April 3rd, they marched north toward Grant's army. The Confederate Army was ready to attack on the morning of the 6th.

The Battle

The battle started around dawn on April 6th. The Confederates surprised the Union Army. After fighting all day, Grant's army retreated back to Pittsburg Landing. Johnston was killed during the battle, and Beauregard took over the Confederate Army.

More Union soldiers arrived at the battlefield during the night. They were part of the Army of the Ohio, commanded by Don Carlos Buell.

Grant attacked the Confederates the next morning. The two armies fought all morning and during the afternoon. By 4 p.m., Beauregard decided to retreat back to Corinth.


The Confederates lost 10,698 casualties during the battle. Union soldiers buried the Confederate dead on the battlefield. The Union Army lost about 14,500 casualties during the battle.

Interesting facts about the Battle of Shiloh

Battle of Shiloh2 1962 Issue-4c
Battle of Shiloh stamp issued in 1962
  • Heavy rain delayed the attack. Originally the Confederates were going to attack on the 4th of July, instead they attacked on the 6th.
  • Col. Everett Peabody sent out a patrol prior to the battle which located the confederate army. He got in trouble for this as he did it against orders, but if he had not sent out the patrol the Confederates may have totally surprised the Union Army.
  • Albert Sidney Johnston was the highest ranked officer to be killed on either side in the American Civil War. He died after being shot in the leg at Shiloh.
  • The Battle of Shiloh is also known as the “Battle of Pittsburg Landing”.

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