31st Illinois Regiment: Shiloh

An Illustration of the Shiloh battlefield. From the Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/92504845/

An Illustration of the Shiloh battlefield. From the Library of Congress.
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/92504845/

After the Battle of Ft. Donelson, the 31st Illinois stayed in the fort’s barracks for a few weeks to recuperate. The Union army, in the west, was split into 3 main corps under General Pope, Buell, and Thomas. The 31st Illinois was placed in the “Reserve Army of the Tennessee” under Illinois politician Gen. John McClernand. This proved to be extremely lucky for the 31st Illinois as they were not active in the bloody battle of Shiloh, but instead were placed in the reserve protecting the rear. The regiment did pass through Shiloh two days after the fighting was finished. Of the fighting a member of the 31st noted, “The whole face of earth seemed to be covered with men, and every conceivable thing attendant upon a mighty host.” (Morris p. 45)

Click to zoom. Shiloh battlefield map.

Click to zoom. Shiloh battlefield map.