Assignment 4

I decided to track Maj. Gen. Lewis Wallace of the U.S. Army commanding third division. He was not part of the battle to start, but was sent to help resupply and reinforce the Union Army that was struggling. A two hour journey to the front lines was delayed to seven hours because of a series of errors. He and his soldiers would not reach the Union army until nightfall. Wallace’s reinforcements arrive at night of the 6th and were unable to battle until the next day. On the 7th Wallace and his troops help push the confederates away and secure a victory at the battle of Shiloh. The maps were very hard to read and it was difficult to understand because of Wallace’s absence from battle on the 6th. The battle of Shiloh was not favorable to General Wallace’s career. Went sent to reinforce Grant’s army on the 6th, Wallace ended up behind enemy lines and worked back towards Grant. This caused many Union soldiers to die due to the lack of reinforcements. Maps and statements confirm the actions and mistakes of Wallace and his men. Wallace was able to help fight on the second day of battle, but his mistake had cost himself and the union army too much. He was removed from Grant’s armies and would not return to the war until 2 years later. The battle of Shiloh not only changed the war by having the Union gain more ground, but it also changed the Union by their loss of experience and leadership through lost officers.

8 Replies to “Assignment 4”

  1. The maps were incredibly hard to read. I found it very difficult to follow along if the maps weren’t color coordinated. I wonder how the maps progressed throughout the war. Did they get better? It definitely brought a different challenge to this assignment.

  2. It sounds like Wallace left highly detailed reports of his movements during the battle, which is useful for historians. It never occurred to me that troops could be harder to track if they were not present on the first day of battle. However, I think that shows just how the tides can change for one side or another if they received reinforcements. The only downfall I can see to this is them not be kept track of as well as the other regiments.

  3. I agree that the maps were incredibly difficult to understand. The only maps that I could follow were the ones with markings and drawings that showed certain geographical locations and the movements of different units throughout the battle. I don’t blame Grant for removing Wallace from the ranks of the Union Army. That battle could have ended a day earlier and thousands of lives could have been spared, and the Union still might have gained the same ground.

  4. It’s interesting to see how detailed Wallace was when it came to his ventures and what things were like from his perspective. I think using the maps is pretty cool because you are able to read details that wouldn’t be there if it were for the individuals who took the time to write everything down. It’s sad to find out that so many lives were lost due to a mistake. I think it’s interesting to see how it turned out.

  5. ” This caused many Union soldiers to die due to the lack of reinforcements.”

    Learning about situations like this one makes me wonder what would happen if everything went according to plan. If General Wallace arrived when he was supposed to, would the outcome and loss of death be the same? Did the fact that Wallace worked his way back cause fratricide due to lack of distinct uniforms and confusion?

  6. The Maps were defiantly a challenge to the assignment especially if Wallace wasn’t there for the start. Furthermore, It is sad that a leader like Wallace’s mistakes costed so many lives that could have been saved.

  7. I had a similar thing where I selected someone at first to follow and ended up being much to difficult so I decided to pick someone more involved in this particular battle.

  8. The maps were the most difficult part for me too. It made it difficult because no to maps were the same, and some were not even color coated. However, depending on the report one reads, only some maps are actually usable. And it is interesting to see the human error in Wallace’s mistake. The soldier I looked at was caught in vicious friendly fire at one point. Scary stuff.

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