Assignment 4

I select H.W. Halleck’s report in terms of the Battle of Shiloh, who was a major-general commander at that time.

On the one hand, he led Ulysses Simpson Grant to fight forwards from Tennessee River. On the other hand, Halleck urged Don Carlos Bill to accelerate the marching speed of convergence with Grant’s army from Nashville. However, armies of the South attacked Grant’s army near Tennessee River. And this was the breakout of the Battle of Shiloh.

Historical map of the Battle of Shiloh can help me confirm the movement of Halleck’s unit in the Battle of Shiloh. It allows me to know the location and marching trace of his unit.

When it comes to sources, I prefer to secondary maps because they are more useful for me. In view of more discussions, analysis and comments, among others, secondary maps can instruct to have a better and deeper understanding of the event.

In addition to other sources, I want to know what the southern people think about this battle. They may have different opinions comparing with those who won the battle. After all, armies of the south and armies of the north are the two sides of the same coin. Moreover, dairies written by ordinary soldiers from the two sides could also provide me with some useful detailed information.

I know historians will have uphill tasks when they choose to expound a battle by primary sources. In my eyes, the biggest difficulty they will encounter is that they must marry with opinions and situations of the two sides in order to guarantee the fairness and accuracy of their secondary accounts.


4 thoughts on “Assignment 4”

  1. I agree that historians are faced with a big challenge when trying to determine events based on primary sources. I found there to be a variation between the primary maps of Shiloh since most of them were hand drawn by different artist and therefore not uniform. I would guess that historians also work with archeologists to find evidence left behind on battle fields that would help them piece together what really happened.

  2. I think you brought up a really good point about looking at the account of both sides (confederate and federacy) when historians make the battle maps. Both sides would have different opinions on what happened and historians would have to try to piece together and figure out the real story, which would be rather difficult.

  3. It’s a good point to analysis the battle from both sides if we have enough details. And it’s great to follow the generals footsteps on the primary maps. The primary maps are more clear about the direction of all the bettle field and landscape. Also, if we can find a useful secondary map which match the battle described in the report. It would be a lot of details from the map to fill in our informations for the battle, and help historians a lot to do research on it.

  4. You are correct in saying that you need accounts from both sides to get what really happened in a situation. In wars, the winning side usually gets to tell everyone what happened and make everyone think what they say happened, but it is important to hear both sides of a story.

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