The Battle of Shiloh Hill

words by M.G. Hill, music tradtional - 1862

This is certainly one of my favorite songs from this period. I love storytelling songs, especially hard-hitting ones. This scores on both points. The song tells the story of the battle of Shiloh, which took place on April 6th and 7th, 1862. It was the bloodiest engagement ever experienced on American soil, although its carnage would be overshadowed by other battles in the next three years. Overnight, between the two days' fighting, the dead and wounded lay out in a downpour. Ulysses S. Grant had been surprised by the attack under generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard, but Union reinforcements turned the tide the next day. The casualties were prodigious: Union casualties being 13,047, Confederate casualties, 10,699. The total dead, however, were far less than stated in the song, which claims 10,000; in reality, about 3,500 men lost their lives, still a terrible number.

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