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.