Did General Carlos Buell's arrival save Grant at Shiloh?


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

major bill

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
15,815
On April 6 Gerneral Grant skillfully traded space for time. By evening Grant had establish a strong line supported by artillery and gunboats. Grant probaby was reasonably ready to turn back any assaut the Confederates could have launched that evening.

Certainly Buell did not arrive in time to be of much, if any, help on April 6th. Buell's army did help on April 7th but we have no way of knowing if Grant could have succeeded on April 7th without Buell's army. So could Grant have won the Battle of Shiloh on his own?
 

rpkennedy

Major
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
9,809
Location
Carlisle, PA
Lew Wallace's division showed up at the end of the first day and was ready to fight on the second day. I don't think Buell's army made much of a difference either way. Grant had fresh troops even without Buell.
Considering how disorganized and fatigued the Confederates were, I tend to agree that Grant would still have beaten them on the 7th, even without Buell. Buell's army just made it all faster.

Ryan
 

Saruman

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
645
On April 6 Gerneral Grant skillfully traded space for time. By evening Grant had establish a strong line supported by artillery and gunboats. Grant probaby was reasonably ready to turn back any assaut the Confederates could have launched that evening.

Certainly Buell did not arrive in time to be of much, if any, help on April 6th. Buell's army did help on April 7th but we have no way of knowing if Grant could have succeeded on April 7th without Buell's army. So could Grant have won the Battle of Shiloh on his own?
I think the imminent arrival of Buell's Army of the Ohio was integral to Grant's decision to stay and fight it out. It gave him confidence.

As Sherman himself said: "I admit that I was glad Buell was there, because I knew his troops were older than ours and better systematized and drilled, and his arrival made that certain, which was uncertain before."
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
8,155
Location
Denver, CO
Normally an army would not like to fight with a river at its back. However if that army has armed vessels in the river, and transports to either evacuate or to transport available reinforcements, the situation is reversed. The Confederates came to Grant's reinforcements, which arrived as evening fell. Nelson arrived in late afternoon: Wallace in early evening: and the gunboats anchored his left. He knew what he was doing and wondered why the Confederates had come to his reinforcements.
 

Ole Miss

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
2,778
Location
North Mississippi
Well here we go again!:bounce: The 157th year of did Buell save Grant at Shiloh.
Short answer is NO
1) Confederates never attacked Grant's line of defense at Pittsburg Landing which was situated on a high ground with creeks forming the flanks and secured by artillery and Gunboats
2) Lew Wallace's division arrived early Sunday evening
3) Grant was not demoralized or confused by the fog of battle and ready for continuing the battle in the morning
4) Beauregard had not resupplied his units nor consolidate his forces and consequently was not ready for the fight to reignite on Monday morning.
Regards
David
 

major bill

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
15,815
Beaugard susposablely planed to attack and finish the battle in the morning. So how could he not consolidate and resupply at least somewhat during the night?
 

David Knight

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
697
Location
Pontefract, Yorkshire.
Beaugard susposablely planed to attack and finish the battle in the morning. So how could he not consolidate and resupply at least somewhat during the night?
When night attacks were very rare especially with troops who were not professional highly disciplined units what would a commander do at night. Well I would have thought that ensuring that your troops were fed, water and amply supplied with ammunition would be top of the list and if disorganised attempt to get them into coherant untis, especially if you want to continue to attack the next day.

Buell made the task of defeating the Rebels almost certain but I suspect that Grant had the ability and the means to secure victory without his help. Being in control of the river and able to cross at will also meant that Grant was in good shape whatever happened on the Monday.
 
Last edited:

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Top