Howard Jones on “Corinth and the Battle of Shiloh”
April of 2012 marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. In this battle over 65,000 Federal troops and 43,000 Confederates engaged in two bloody days of warfare. Total casualties from this battle exceeded 25,000. The battle was fought at Shiloh, but it was not about Shiloh – it was always about Corinth. In fact, the Shiloh Battlefield is only 20 miles north of the City of Corinth.
Corinth was of great strategic importance to both armies. It was a key railroad center and served both the (east/west) Memphis & Charleston railroad and the (north/south) Mobile & Ohio railroad. It was also just 20 miles from Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. In 1861, the Federal government developed its strategy for invading the Confederacy in the West. The object was to attack and capture key rail centers and waterways in the South.
In April, 1862 General Henry Halleck ordered the Army of the Tennessee under General Ulysses Grant and the Army of the Ohio under General Don Carlos Buell to converge on Pittsburg Landing for the purpose of attacking and capturing Corinth. As General Grant waited for the troops under General Buell to arrive he was attacked by 43,000 Confederate troops under the Command of Albert Sidney Johnston. The two day battle that ensued is the subject of this presentation.
Howard Jones is a long time member (and current president) of the Peninsula Civil War Roundtable and a student of the Civil War.