Shiloh

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Foote, Shelby. Shiloh. New York: Dial Press, 1952. In print: New York: Vintage, 1991.

The battle of Shiloh told from six different perspectives (one of which is the communal perspective of a Union infantry squad). None of the narrators is a general, though the famous generals present are all encountered and observed. The novel is instead an attempt to recreate the fog of war and the aspirations and fears of ordinary young soldiers.

Foote's attempt at a balanced treatment of Shiloh ultimately tips to the South, as a Confederate staff officer gets both the first and last words and N.B. Forrest becomes the novel's de facto hero. But the battle narrative has many strengths, and the characters of the men under fire are well-drawn.

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