This sanguine battle in the western theater was the South’s surprise gamble to reclaim the land and rivers already lost to the North. Had it succeeded, Union generals Grant and Sherman might have been killed, captured, or given desk jobs. Winston Groom’s 2012 book Shiloh 1862 is for a general audience. Emphasis is on the human element and the text is dramatic and visceral. That battle showed the divided nation what horrors a civil war could unleash. Grant’s Memoirs is an excellent direct source in which he writes that Shiloh convinced him that the rebels were deadly serious about secession.