Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Decision at Shiloh

Decision at Shiloh by Herbert S. Jones (aka HSPL Jones)

This is an odd Shiloh book. It seems to mix a novel with a battle history. In the forward he writes that as a boy he heard a Civil War campfire ballad about Shiloh. He finds out that his friend was part of Peabody's scouting expedition that fired the first shots and decides to write a book about the battle.

There will be sections that are clearly historical fiction followed by sections that are written like any historical book of the time, complete with footnotes. The footnotes are sparse but there are some footnotes.

Prentiss and Peabody generally figure large in the book but I think this is because the veteran he heard the campfire ballad from was a veteran from the 25th Missouri. He connected to that man and when he wrote his book later he was drawn to that regiment again.

I don't think I'd use this book much as a source but I do think it is an interesting read, just not something I'd use for research.


Kevin McCann said...

Recently, I came across your blog and I've enjoyed your reviews of Shiloh related books both well-known and obscure. I appreciate you writing them and look forward to future entries! Keep up the good work.

Kevin Harris ( said...

I also came across your blog and appreciate your reviews. I am curious if you know of any letters, diaries, articles, or books that do a good job of describing the moment of Buell's arrival (other than the ones you list). My gr-gr grandfather was in the 36th Indiana, and I haven't been able to figure out which companies came across on Sunday night. I want to learn as much detail about this as I can. Thanks!