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Best Book about Shiloh - The Battle of Shiloh - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Sun Apr 19th, 2009 03:25 pm
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Wrap10
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Don't think I can really add much to what's been said about books on the battle. I think all of the ones mentioned are very good. My personal favorite is Sword's. If I had to pick one that I think is the best overall book on Shiloh though, it would be close but I'd probably lean toward Larry Daniel's book. I don't agree with all of his conclusions (which probably wouldn't cause him to lose any sleep :) )and I think he's a little too harsh on A.S. Johnston, but all in all, he probably does the best job of placing the battle in a larger context.

In the introduction to Cunningham's book, editors Tim Smith and Gary D. Joiner state that Sword's book is the best tactical study of the battle, which is probably true. If you want details, Sword's your guy. He also has a great writing style, and I think does a wonderful job of weaving human interest stories into the larger story in a seamless manner. I like to say that Daniel's book is facts and figures, while Sword's book is facts, figures, and faces. That's not entirely fair to Daniel, but I think Sword has a little more of the human touch in his book.

The same goes for Cunningham. His book and Sword's book are very similar in the way they 'feel' to me, even though they each have their own individual take on things. One minor complaint I have with Cunningham's book is that it doesn't really have a summation, or a conclusion that ties everything together. It just sort of ends. But if you have an interest in Shiloh, you should read his book. I agree with Susan that it's excellent.

One thing to be aware of about this book though - on the dust-jacket it says that Cunningham was the first historian to conclude that the Hornets Nest fighting was not important to the outcome of the battle. (Don't have it right here in front of me, but it's words to that effect.) The problem is that Cunningham does no such thing anywhere in the book. I won't give away anymore than that, but I think folks should be aware that that claim on the dust-jacket about the Hornets Nest, which was probably put there by the publisher, is simply not true. In the book, he does not reach the conclusion about the Hornets Nest that they say he does.

The other 'major' book on Shiloh is James McDonough's, Shiloh: In Hell Before Night. It's more general than the other three above, but it's still a good read.

D.W. Reed, the first historian of the park, wrote an account of the battle that first appeared in the early 20th Century, and can be read online in its entirety. See here -

http://www.shilohbattlefield.org/commission/home.htm

It has also recently been reprinted, and is available in book form at Amazon and other book outlets.

On local civilians, I'm afraid I don't know of any books that deal with them per say, although as barrydancer mentioned, Tim Smith's This Great Battlefield of Shiloh does have some interesting information about them. One of the members of our discussion group on Shiloh who lives near the park has said that Tim gives a talk from time to time about the the residents who lived in the area at the time of the battle. I haven't heard it, but I'd love to. We also have two or three members on the board (including Wordpix John now! :) ) who had relatives who lived in the area, and have passed along some good stories.

Tim Smith's two books are very good in my opinion, and should be added to anyone's list if they have an interest in the battle or the park. They don't really deal with the battle, as I think was mentioned before, but they do give some information on the park that I'm not sure you'll find anywhere else, outside of visiting the park and asking questions of some of the rangers.

Sorry for the long ramble.

Perry



 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2009 06:03 pm
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hurley
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Maybe we have some relation. My family also owned plantations. And you mentioned someone named thomas. Did this Thomas have anything to do with the church in Shiloh? My grandfather, father, and brother all have Thomas in their name. and OUR last name is Hurley. my dad has told me a few things about hurley&shiloh. i'd love to know more about the hurley's!

Last edited on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 06:05 pm by hurley



 Posted: Thu Apr 30th, 2009 08:34 pm
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Wordpix John
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We must be cousins. Here are my Hurley ancestors: Amos Hurley (1750-1817), Josiah Allen Hurley (1783-1860), Thomas Jefferson Hurley (1804-1841), Asa C. Hurley (1831-1881), Martha Callie (or Caldonia) Hurley (1858-1903). She was my great-grandmother. The name Thomas seems to show up in almost every Hurley generation. 

It appears that the Hurleys came to Pittsburg Landing as part of a group from Chatham County, North Carolina.

I don't know of any Hurley connection to the church at Shiloh, but that doesn't mean anything. I don't know much about the Hurley family.

If Asa Hurley is in your line, he fought at Shiloh and was taken prisoner by the Union army. If you know anything about his experience, I'd love to hear it.

John

 



 Posted: Thu Apr 30th, 2009 08:44 pm
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chrisfingle
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Ok, bear with me. This may not fit the "best book about Shiloh, the most detailed" category. In fact it has few details beyond what a squad-level group of men saw during the battle from the Sunken Road / Hornets' Nest area of the battlefield. I learned of it from another forum but what caught my eye, and why I am mentioning it here, is that it gives details that you cannot find even hinted at in Sword, Daniels or Cunningham, and for that it is very valuable, at least to me. That is what made me want to read it in the first place, and it was not disappointing.

This book tells first hand what happened to the POWs taken from the surrender of Wallace's and Prentiss's men, and it goes into great detail about that almost unwritten, always overlooked, forgotten chapter of the battle of Shiloh.

It is a double book with a diary and a collection of letters from Iowa men writing from Donelson and Shiloh and other places. There are several letters from Donelson after the battle, and a great letter written from Pittsburg Landing the night before the battle.

The book is called "Soldier Life - Many Must Fall", all of it first hand accounts, with great footnotes that give biographical information about each soldier mentioned in the text. I highly recommend it.

Here's a review:

"Soldier Life—Many Must Fall: Two Civil War Narratives -- True Histories of the 14th Iowa Infantry in Camp and Combat, Told by the Wolf Creek Rangers of Tama County" by B. F. Thomas and Peter Wilson (The Camp Pope Bookshop*, 2008) 288 pages -- 8 3/4 x 11 1/3 -- Hardcover, illustrated dustjacket, maps, photographs, notes, index.

" This publication is essentially two books in one, together they shed personal light on the Civil War service of the 14th Iowa (Company G), which saw action in the western and Trans-Mississippi theaters. The writings of the two main authors, in conjunction with a variety of letters and accounts written by other Co. G mates, cover military events in Tennessee (Ft. Donelson, Shiloh), Mississippi (Oxford Raid), Louisiana (Pleasant Hill), and Missouri (Price Raid), as well as the experience of being a POW and paroled soldier.

Soldier Life, penned later in life by Benjamin Franklin Thomas (first published in 1907), is a reproduction of the author's Civil War diary, spiced with his reminiscences. The editors altered the text (e.x. corrected spelling, replaced abbreviated text, etc.) and added footnotes. The notes, mostly detailed biographical sketches of individuals mentioned in the text, are bundled together at the end of each section, but curiously not arranged in numbered citation format. They are of both research and genealogical value. A sampling of Thomas's poetry was also inserted.

Many Must Fall is the letter collection of Sgt. Peter Wilson (spanning 1861-1865, and previously published piecemeal by the Iowa Journal of History and Politics during the 1940s). The earlier annotation is preserved, with new commentary from the current editors. The Wilson letters (mostly addressed to immediate family) are supplemented with other letters, memoirs, and newspaper accounts written by members of his unit.

Between the narratives is a photo gallery and two maps. Soldier Life - Many Must Fall is a valuable compilation of primary source materials for Civil War researchers and genealogists.

The Traer Historical Museum Board (editors) and the Camp Pope Bookshop (publisher) deserve our thanks for bringing back into print the personal experiences of the "Wolf Creek Rangers" of Company G, 14th Iowa, all in a single, well produced volume. "

Available from:
The Traer Historical Museum
514 2nd St.
Traer, Iowa 50675

http://www.traermuseum.com

I need to add that the above review came from the CIVIL WAR BOOKS AND AUTHORS website:

http://cwba.blogspot.com/2009/03/thomas-and-wilson-soldier-lifemany-must.html

Last edited on Fri May 1st, 2009 04:38 pm by chrisfingle



 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2009 04:33 am
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hurley
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wow that is very cool! we have an old family tree and other documents from that time so i'll check and get back to ya. &thanks!



 Posted: Mon May 18th, 2009 05:49 am
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hurley
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we are most definitely cousins.  Josiah Hurley and Thomas J. Hurley and many others are in our family book. i have a whole book that our ancestors have recently made that talks about it. here are a few facts!

josiah hurley was born 1783 in north carolina

thomas j. hurley, sr. was born in 1804 in north carolina; died 1841 at pittsburg landing, tennessee; was married in 1823 to Rebecca Strawn, born 1808-1884.

Thomas J. Hurley, sr had Thomas J. Hurley, jr. and thomas j. JR had george. George had 7 kids.  (another George Hurley) + Lory Zitanie Hurley being 2 of them.  Lory Zitanie had 8 children....... and one of them being Audrey Thomas ---this is my grandfather! he died in 1984. but it is very interesting to know that you are related! kind of confusing but i try!

i also found a website that has a lot of the hurley's pictures!
hope this helps........ sry it took so long to get back to ya!

Last edited on Mon May 18th, 2009 06:40 am by hurley



 Posted: Tue May 19th, 2009 02:09 am
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Wordpix John
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Does your information show any of your ancestors enlisted in the Confederate army and fighting at Shiloh? My ancestor, Asa C. Hurley (son of Thomas J. Hurley Sr.) was taken prisoner at Shiloh. When I look at lists of confederate soldiers, I see several Hurleys with familiar-looking names like Thomas, T.J. G.W., etc. At least a couple are listed as being from McNairy County and are probably our relatives, but I can't identify them further than that.



 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 05:49 pm
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hurley
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no it does not list Asa but it's not in perfect detail. i'm sure he'd be on there if someone added everyone's name. i'm not sure who made it but it was pretty recent.



 Posted: Tue Nov 24th, 2009 12:08 am
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barrydancer
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I finished the Cunningham book a few months ago. Very good, though I wish someone would someday spend as much time on the second day's action as the first. I know the fighting was shorter, but there was a lot going on. Just go look at all the round markers on the battlefield!

My other nitpick is a minor one, being from the area. He refers to Michie's farm as Mickey's, spelling it how it sounds, rather than the weird way it's actually spelled. The spelling may have changed over the years, but I would imagine it would have simplified were that the case. Ed Bearss does the same thing in his latest work, though.

Though, I will say the pictures in the back also led me to look up some monuments I didn't know were there before. :)



 Posted: Thu Aug 16th, 2012 01:50 pm
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heatherfawn
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Hello!

I am a Hurley descendant. My grandmother (still living) is a Hurley. Her great-grandfather was Asa Hurley. Her grandfather was Jefferson Davis Hurley, and her father was Robert Franklin Hurley. She told me that her dad used to talk about playing at Shiloh when he was a kid, and he grew up in Stantonville. I would LOVE to have any information you have on the Hurleys, including the land they lived on. Can you tell me where you found that map?

Thanks so much for your help!



 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2013 02:18 pm
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turbote60
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Hello, I am Kay Erwin.  My maiden name is Hurley.  My ancestors are Amos, Josiah, Asa Hurley.  My grand father is Rufus Paul Hurley of Stantonville Tn.  I have researched all the way back to our descendants that came from Ireland. Daniel Sr. Hurley.  You can reply back to me at 95lksr@bellsouth.net



 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2013 02:22 pm
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turbote60
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Hello,  I am a Hurley descendant. I have researched all the way back to Daniel Sr. Hurley that came from Ireland. Amos, Josiah, Asa Hurley are all in my family.  I would love to know where you found pictures of the Hurleys. I know in Chatham County is where Amos was.  Do you have any pictures or grave stone location/pictures that you can send me.  Thanks so much.  My email is 95lksr@bellsouth.net



 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2013 02:29 pm
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heatherfawn
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Hi Kay. My grandmother's maiden name is Hurley. Asa was her great-grandfather. I grew up in Louisiana, so did my grandmother. I live in Nashville now. Would it be possible to look at your research? Thanks!



 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2013 02:30 pm
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heatherfawn
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Hi,

I'm interested to know what your dad told you about Shiloh and the Hurley's?



 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2013 02:51 pm
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turbote60
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My dad which is Billy Joe Hurley and his brother Dean still live in Stantonville.  Just minutes to Shiloh which Hurleytown has been dedicated there.  Please email me at 95lksr@bellsouth.net.  I will try to send you some info.  that I have collected.  I also would love to have pictures of our ancestors.  Do you have any?



 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2013 02:53 pm
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turbote60
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What was your grandmothers name.  Alot of the Hurley's stayed in Chatham County NC. Josiah moved to Shiloh. And the Hurleys started there including Asa.



 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2013 02:55 pm
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heatherfawn
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My grandmother's name is Joanne Lemay Hurley Rundell. Hurley is her maiden name. I've done a lot of research up to Amos, born in 1740, but haven't gotten past that.



 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2013 05:46 pm
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rebeltim28
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yes loved that book. its a good read.

Attachment: images.jpg (Downloaded 25 times)



 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2013 05:48 pm
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heatherfawn
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What made you like this book?



 Posted: Sat Jan 26th, 2013 12:43 am
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Johan Steele
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For me it is well written, easily read and superbly researched. Part of the reason I'm a fan of Sword.



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