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This week in the civil war

Rebels halt Union’s pursuit after bloody battle at Shiloh

Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant sends troops in pursuit of Confederate fighters retreating after the battle at Shiloh, or Pittsburgh Landing, in Tennessee

But a feisty Confederates rearguard led by Nathan Bedford Forrest thwarts the Union pursuit, allowing the secessionists to slip away.

Shiloh’s two days of pitched fighting end with more than 23,000 men killed, wounded or missing on both sides – the bloodiest battle in U.S. history at the time and a portent of big battles to come.

The Associated Press reports Shiloh’s outcome in an April 13 dispatch, reporting “the beginning of the fight on that day was a total surprise” for the Union as Confederates attacked – with “many officers and soldiers being overtaken in their tents and slaughtered or taken prisoners.”

The AP dispatch notes that Union forces counterattacked the second day of Shiloh, “and the rebels soon gave way.”

– Associated Press