On April 7, 1862, the Civil War’s Battle of Shiloh ended with a United States (Union) victory over Confederate forces in Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. The two-day conflict was at that point the bloodiest battle in American history, with more than 23,000 dead and wounded. (This gruesome distinction was surpassed a year later by the Battle of Gettysburg, which resulted in more than 47,000 casualties.)
 
The Battle of Shiloh was a crucial success for the Union Army, led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee (named for the river, not the state). It allowed Grant to begin a massive operation in the Mississippi Valley later that year. This culminated in the brutal Vicksburg Campaign, which targeted the “fortress city” of Vicksburg, Mississippi—the last Confederate-controlled area along the Mississippi River.
 
The Battle of Shiloh also robbed the Confederacy of one of her most capable leaders, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston. Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis later said Johnston’s death was “the turning point of our fate.”
brutal
Adjective

extreme, harsh, or cruel.

capable
Adjective

having the ability to do something.

Civil War
Noun

(1860-1865) American conflict between the Union (north) and Confederacy (south).

Confederate
Adjective

having to do with the Confederate States of America (south) during the Civil War.

crucial
Adjective

very important.

culminate
Verb

to reach the highest point or most important part of something.

fate
Noun

predetermined course of events in the life of a person.

fortress
Noun

protected place. Also called a fort.

massive
Adjective

very large or heavy.

surpass
Verb

to go beyond a set limit.

Union
Adjective

having to do with states supporting the United States (north) during the U.S. Civil War.

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