Shiloh Quiz Answers

How well do you know the Battle of Shiloh?

Shiloh - Ruggles Battery1. Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman used this landing spot on the Tennessee River in March of 1862 to move his Union division to the opposite bank. The name of this landing spot is also an alternate name for the Battle of Shiloh.

  • Savannah
  • Port Gibson
  • Pittsburg Landing
  • Crump's Landing
  • Port Donelson


Answer: Pittsburg Landing. Named for local resident and liquor store operator Pittser Tucker. Pittsburg Landing was the principal embarkation point for Union forces occupying the Shiloh Battlefield.

2. Sherman's forces established their camps inland from their landing position on the Tennessee. Amongst this camp site was the feature that would give its name to the Battle of Shiloh. What was that feature?

  • The Shiloh Creek
  • The Town of Shiloh, Tennessee
  • A small hill named Shiloh by the locals
  • A small, rural church named Shiloh
  • The Shiloh Road


Answer: A small, rural church named Shiloh. This small log-built Methodist church was one of the few structures on the Shiloh Battlefield. Intense fighting occurred all around this structure on April 6, 1862.

3. Prior to the sudden start to the Battle of Shiloh, where did Ulysses S. Grant and the Union high command believe most of the Confederate forces opposing them were located?

  • Corinth, Mississippi
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Mill Springs, Kentucky


Answer: Corinth, Mississippi. Ulysses S. Grant and most of the Union high command believed that Albert Sidney Johnston was gathering his disparate armies so that he could defend the strategic town of Corinth, Mississippi. Grant, Sherman, and others were surprised to learn that Johnston's intentions were fully offensive in nature.

4. The Confederate commander of the Army of the Mississippi at Shiloh was Albert Sidney Johnston. Which of the following is an incorrect statement regarding Johnston's life?

  • At the start of the Civil War, Jefferson Davis thought he was the finest general in the Confederacy
  • Johnston graduated just behind Robert E. Lee in the West Point class of 1841
  • Johnston was a native of Kentucky and attended Transylvania University
  • Johnston was a Brig. General during the 1836 Texas War of Independence from Mexico
  • At the outbreak of the Civil War, Johnston commanded the US Army Department of the Pacific in California


Answer: Johnston graduated 8th out of 41 cadets in the West Point class of 1826. Lee graduated second out of 45 in the West Point class of 1829.

5. The unified Confederate Army of the Mississippi was eager to strike the isolated Union Army of the Tennessee on or about April 4, 1862. Which of the following was not a reason for why the Confederates were seriously delayed?

  • Confederate senior commanders were inexperienced in maneuvering large army formations
  • Many inexperienced soldiers ruined their 5-days rations, others failed to get food at all
  • Several of the Confederate railroad tracks leading to the attack zone were disrupted by Federal cavalry
  • Severe rains turned the country roads to mud
  • Botched staff orders led to many traffic jams along the narrow country roads


Answer: Several of the Confederate railroad tracks leading to the attack zone were disrupted by Federal cavalry. While Corinth was an important rail hub, there were no rail lines leading from Corinth towards the Pittsburg Landing area.

6. Early on the morning of April 6, 1862, after hearing the first salvos of the Battle of Shiloh, Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston made this bold declaration

  • Tonight I will sleep in Grant's tent
  • Tonight we will have Grant as our dinner guest!
  • Tonight we will water our horses in the Tennessee
  • My loyal legions, let us avenge Donelson and Henry!
  • Tonight we will sup on Yankee coffee and biscuit!


Answer: Tonight we will water our horses in the Tennessee. An ebullient Johnston exclaimed to his senior staff "Tonight we will water our horses in the Tennessee"

7. Early in the morning of April 6, 1862, Union Col. Everett Peabody of Prentiss' Sixth Division undertook this important action….. that almost led his superior to relieve him of duty on the spot.

  • He sent a telegram to General Grant complaining of the poor disposition of the Union line
  • Sensing danger Peabody immediately moved his units to the rear
  • Peabody would begin to create a strong line of felled trees
  • Peabody would send forth a spy who infiltrated the Confederate lines
  • Peabody sent forth a reconnaissance in force that would discover the attacking Confederate army.


Answer: E. Peabody sent forth a reconnaissance that would discover the attacking Confederate Army. An anxious Col. Everett Peabody was eager to learn the strength and disposition of the Confederate forces who were growing in number to his front. Peabody's timely reconnaissance prevented the Confederate forces from completely surprising the Union army in their camps at Shiloh. General Prentiss, Peabody's superior, when he learned of the growing military action at Seay Field, declared "Peabody, I will personally hold you responsible for bringing on this action!"

8. The Union forces who stoutly opposed the Confederate advance across Duncan Field occupied this famous position. The name is probably a more modern invention.

  • The Sunken Road
  • The Peach Orchard
  • Hell's Hollow
  • Snake Creek
  • The Bloody Pond


Answer: The Sunken Road. Union forces at the far edge of Duncan Field used a rural road along the tree line as their line of defense. Despite the fact that the roadbed is not much depressed below the surface of the nearby land, the road was later named "The Sunken Road."

9. While attending to the placement of Confederate forces near the Peach Orchard, Maj. Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston was mortally wounded at 2:30pm. Who replaced Johnston as commander of the Confederate forces at Shiloh?

Cleburne Question 9
Hardee Question 9
Beauregard Question 9
Bragg Question 9

Answer: C. P.G.T. Beauregard

10. After repeated attempts by Confederate infantry to break the Union line near Duncan Field were beaten back, this famous assembly of cannon was ordered to blast the Union position

  • Johnston's Iron Brigade
  • Ruggles Battery
  • The Washington Artillery
  • Pillow's Flying Artillery
  • Hardee's Battery


Answer: Ruggles Battery. To break the Union line at Duncan Field, the Confederates gathered 11 batteries together—50 to 60 guns—that would take dead aim on the Union troops holding the Sunken Road. This mighty congregation of guns was one of the largest Confederate artillery forces ever assembled in the Western Theater.

11. After being encircled, this Union general and 2,300 Union soldiers in the Hornet's Nest surrendered to their Confederate attackers late on April 6, 1862:

  • John McClernand
  • Stephen Hurlbut
  • Alexander McCook
  • William "Bull" Nelson
  • Benjamin Prentiss


Answer: Benjamin Prentiss. With many Union soldiers in the Hornet's Nest racing to the rear for safety, roughly 2,300 Union soldiers and general Benjamin Prentiss were captured late in the afternoon of April 6, 1862. Many Confederates believed that this large capture signaled a complete victory for the Confederate army.

12. The timely arrival of the Union Army of the Ohio on the night of April 6, 1862 gave Grant the ability to unleash a mighty counterattack the following morning. Who commanded the Army of the Ohio at Shiloh?

Hooker Question 12
Buell Question 12
Wallace Question 12
Sherman Question 12

Answer: B. Don Carlos Buell

13. Two Union gunboats helped to bolster the Union line by firing their large naval guns at the advancing Confederate forces. Name those two ships.

  • USS Tyler and USS Lexington
  • USS Lexington and USS Concord
  • USS Cairo and USS Carondelet
  • USS Tyler and USS Yorktown
  • USS Minnehaha and USS Tecumseh


Answer: USS Tyler and USS Lexington. Armed with 8-inch smoothbores and a few 32-pounders, the Tyler and Lexington, firing from the Tennessee River, helped to disrupt and demoralize Confederate forces attempting to press Grant's "Final Line" position.

14. Despite the wide-spread Union success in driving the Confederates from the battlefield on April 7, 1862, this Union general would take command of the Union forces at Shiloh from U.S. Grant?

  • John Pope
  • Henry Halleck
  • James McPherson
  • William Rosecrans
  • George Thomas


Answer: Henry Halleck. Despite Grant's resolve on April 6th and his successful counterattack on April 7th, many in the Union high command and in Washington DC took a dim view of his performance at Shiloh. Henry Halleck, one of Grant's chief detractors, arrived on April 11, 1862 and took command of the Union forces.

15. The Battle of Shiloh was the first battle of the American Civil War to produce an enormous number of casualties. With regard to the casualties at Shiloh which statement is untrue?

  • In terms of total dead and wounded, Shiloh's casualty figures eclipsed all previous Civil War battles combined.
  • The Battle of Shiloh produced more total casualties than the Battle of Antietam
  • The Union lost approximately 14,500 soldiers and the Confederacy lost roughly 12,000 during the battle
  • Union generals Lew Wallace, W.H.L. Wallace, and Benjamin Prentiss were all killed or captured during the battle
  • Many of the Confederate dead at Shiloh would be unceremoniously placed in several burial trenches on the battlefield


Answer: Union generals Lew Wallace, W.H.L. Wallace, and Benjamin Prentiss were all killed or captured during the battle. Lew Wallace was neither killed nor captured at the Battle of Shiloh.


Learn More About the Battle of Shiloh


More Civil War Trust Quizzes

Our Sponsors

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software