Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War

Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War by Larry J. Daniel

In my opinion this is the best single Shiloh book out there. It has more detail than McDonough, but not too much like Sword and Cunningham. This book also does a wonderful job of putting Shiloh in context with the other events of the war in the spring of 1862.

The maps are nice, which is not something I can say about Sword's book. Like McDonough's they are full page maps. There is more detail to these maps so individual regiments are shown. One slight drawback is that a map will cover a couple hours of the battle and certain areas will have a time printed there. Usually these are pretty easy to understand but sometimes it is a bit cluttered. It would have been nicer to have 2 or 3 maps but its not necessary.

Yesterday I said McDonough's book was good to prepare for a battlefield visit or to better understand what you just saw. I think Daniel's book would be the next one to read as it would give you more detail and also provide context. After that I'd suggest Cunningham or Sword. But if you didn't advance past Daniel and McDonough you would have a pretty good understanding of the battle.

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