Surprise Attack!: Battle of Shiloh
The first major Civil War battle in the Western theater, Shiloh came as a horrifying shock to both the American public and those in arms. On April 6, 1862, Confederate forces staged a surprise attack on the Union army encamped along the Tennessee River. Fighting was fierce as General Grant struggled to hold off the enemy until his reinforcements arrived the following day so that he could 'Whip 'em tomorrow'. Though nearly driven into the Tennessee River, the Union army could ultimately claim victory - won at a dear cost. With nearly 24,000 total casualties in two days' fighting, 'Bloody Shiloh' served as a wake-up call to the nation, announcing that the continuing fight for the Union would be devastating for both sides.