Illinois Regiments in the Battle of Shiloh
(near Savannah Tennessee)
(April 6-7, 1862)


Following the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, the command of the armies in the west was consolidated under Maj. Gen. Halleck. Command in the field was divided between Maj. Gen. Grant's Army of the Tennessee and Maj. Gen. Buell's Army of the Ohio (Link to Regional Map). In early April 1862, the two armies began moving to concentrate and move against the key rail junction of Corinth, Mississippi. On April 5, 1862, Grant's army arrived at Pittsburgh Landing on the west bank of the Tennessee River a few miles south of Savannah, Tennessee. The army camped and awaited the arrival of Buell's army (expected late the next day) before moving on. The Union forces did not set up defenses or even send out pickets as no Confederates were believed to be nearby.

Unknown to the Union forces, Confederate General Albert Syndey Johnson had assembled his Army of Mississippi and was moving north to intercept and destroy Grant's army and capture all his supplies before Buell's army could join him.

The battle began early on April 6 with the Confederate forces streaming out of the woods and totally surprising the Union troops. Grant's army fell back before the attackers putting up stubborn resistance at a sunken road know later as the "Hornet's Nest." The determined resistance at the Hornet's Nest threw off the timetable of the advancing Confederates and probably saved the rest of Grant's army. During the fighting, Confederate General Johnson was killed while leading his troops and command fell to Gen. Bragg. By the end of the day, the Confederates had pushed the Union army back into a small pocket next to the river where the Union gunboats could offer some protection (Link to Map, End of Day 1).

During the night, Buell's Army of the Ohio arrived and the troops were ferried across the river to the west bank. At daybreak, the newly reinforced Union army attacked and over the course of the day completely pushed the Confederates back across the battlefield of the previous day (Link to Map, End of Day 2).

The Battle of Shiloh is named for a small church located in the central portion of the battlefield. The battle is also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing. The battle was the first of many large battles during the war that had in excess of 20,000 casualties and was an omen that the war would last for a much longer time than anyone had anticipated.

The Illinois regiments which took part in the battle of Shiloh are listed below. The links will take you to the regimental pages.

To see two different views on the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh, click on the following links:
Confederate Commanding General P.G.T. Beauregard
U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton
Source: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Dyer's Compendium

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