The Battle of Shiloh was a major battle in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, fought on April 6 and April 7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee. Confederate forces under Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard launched a surprise attack against the Union Army of Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and came very close to defeating his army. The Confederate battle lines became confused during the fierce fighting, and Grant's men instead fell back in the direction of Pittsburg Landing to the northeast. A position on a slightly sunken road, nicknamed the "Hornet's Nest", defended by the men of Brig. Gens. Benjamin M. Prentiss's and W.H.L. Wallace's divisions, provided critical time for the rest of the Union line to stabilize under the protection of numerous artillery batteries. Gen. Johnston was killed during the first day's fighting, and Beauregard, his second in command, decided against assaulting the final Union position that night. Reinforcements from Gen. Buell arrived in the evening and turned the tide the next morning, when he and Grant launched a counterattack along the entire line. The Confederates were forced to retreat from the bloodiest battle in United States history up to that time, ending their hopes that they could block the Union advance into northern Mississippi.

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Today's selected anniversaries:


Aboard HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin left Plymouth, England, on what became an historic expedition to South America that made his name as a naturalist.


A public speech by famed Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski in Poznań sparked the Greater Poland Uprising against Germany and Prussia.


The international ratification of the Bretton Woods Agreement established the International Monetary Fund and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


Indonesian National Revolution: Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed papers that relinquished sovereignty of most of the Dutch East Indies, officially recognising the independence of Indonesia.


Soviet war in Afghanistan: Soviet troops stormed Tajbeg Palace outside of Kabul and killed Afghan President Hafizullah Amin and his 300 elite guards.

Wiktionary's word of the day:

snowclone   (n)   A type of cliché which uses an old idiom formulaically in a new context.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

I am utterly convinced that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will eventually unite not to destroy but to edify, and that the future will belong to those who have done the most for the sake of suffering humanity.
--Louis Pasteur