Decisions at Shiloh

The Twenty-Two Critical Decisions That Defined the Battle

  • Author(s): Powell, Dave
  • Series: Command Decisions in America's Civil War
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2023-03-09
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $29.95 | Buy Now


The Battle of Shiloh took place April 6–7, 1862, between the Union Army of the Tennessee under General Ulysses S. Grant and the Confederate Army of Mississippi under General Albert Sidney Johnston. Johnston launched a surprise attack on Grant but was mortally wounded during the battle. General P. G. T. Beauregard, taking over command, chose not to press the attack through the night, and Grant, reinforced with troops from the Army of the Ohio, counterattacked the morning of April 7th and turned the tide of the battle.

Decisions at Shiloh introduces readers to critical decisions made by Confederate and Union commanders throughout the battle. Dave Powell examines the decisions that prefigured the action and shaped the contest as it unfolded. Rather than a linear history of the battle, Powell’s discussion of the critical decisions presents readers with a vivid blueprint of the battle’s developments. Exploring the critical decisions in this way allows the reader to progress from a sense of what happened in these battles to why they happened as they did

Complete with maps and a guided tour, Decisions at Shiloh is an indispensable primer, and readers looking for a concise introduction to the battle can tour this sacred ground—or read about it at their leisure—with key insights into the battle and a deeper understanding of the Civil War itself.

Decisions at Shiloh is Powell’s second contribution and the fourteenth in a series of books that will explore the critical decisions of major campaigns and battles of the Civil War.

DAVE POWELL is the author of six books on the Battle of Chickamauga, including the three-volume Chickamauga Campaign and Decisions at Chickamauga: The Twenty-Four Critical Decisions That Defined the Battle.