Scapegoat of Shiloh

The Distortion of Lew Wallace’s Record by U.S. Grant

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About the Book

A great controversy surrounds General Lew Wallace at the Battle of Shiloh. General U.S. Grant blamed Wallace for the huge number of casualties the Union suffered, citing a dilatory march and poor choice of route to the battlefield. Wallace was obsessed with these accusations his entire life and wrote Ben-Hur as much to work through the injustice of being labeled a scapegoat as for literary aspirations.
This book asserts that something entirely different may be at fault for the astonishing number of men lost. Overlooked in the history of the battle is Grant’s own choice of a specific man to carry battle orders to Wallace, a mistake that might have made all the difference. This assertion is supported by newly discovered documents written by an obscure Wisconsin quartermaster as well as evidence in official records. The implications of this choice of messenger virtually vindicate Wallace. By also juxtaposing certain Confederate actions, this book explores the behind-the-scenes struggle during the Battle of Shiloh and its aftermath for the participants.

About the Author(s)

Writer Kevin Getchell lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Bibliographic Details

Kevin Getchell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: 34 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7209-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0223-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments  ix

Foreword  1

Preface  5

 1. Before the Fame Came  9

 2. The Hard Foot of Uncle Sam in Hardin County, Tennessee  16

 3. Steaming Situations That Shaped the Battle  22

 4. The Problem with Napoleon  41

 5. Precursors and Premonitions  49

 6. Forrest’s Movements  59

 7. While Waiting for Grant  65

 8. “I smell the blood,” said an Englishman  81

 9. Setting the Stage for a Scapegoating  88

10. The Need for a Cover-up  98

11. Critical Decisions  121

12. For Want of a Horse  129

13. No Arrangements for Supply  138

14. Cutting Off the Head of the Supply and Transportation Corps  148

15. A Tangled Web  163

16. The Cost  178

17. Elephants  189

18. The Ongoing Battle of Shiloh  196

Appendix A: The Derickson Documents  209

Appendix B: Pertinent Complete Reports from The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion  222

Chapter Notes  255

Bibliography  263

Index  269