Attack at Daylight and Whip Them

The Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862

Gregory Mertz

Historian Greg Mertz grew up on the Shiloh battlefield. Attack at Daylight and Whip Them taps into five decades of intimate familiarity with a battle that rewrote America's notions of war.
Date Published :
April 2019
Publisher :
Savas Beatie
Contributor(s) :
Timothy B. Smith
Series :
Emerging Civil War Series
Illustration :
150 images and maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781611213133
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


"Attack at daylight and whip them" —that was the Confederate plan on the morning of April 6, 1862. The unsuspecting Union Army of the Tennessee, commanded by Major General Ulysses S. Grant, had gathered on the banks of its namesake river at a spot called Pittsburg Landing, ready to strike deep into the heart of Tennessee Confederates, commanded by General Albert Sidney Johnston. Johnston’s troops were reeling from setbacks earlier in the year and had decided to reverse their fortunes by taking the fight to the Federals.

Johnston planned to attack them at daylight and drive them into the river.

A brutal day of fighting ensued, unprecedented in its horror—the devil’s own day, one union officer admitted. Confederates needed just one final push.

Grant did not sit and wait for that assault, though. He gathered reinforcements and planned a counteroffensive. On the morning of April 7, he intended to attack at daylight and whip them.

The bloodshed that resulted from the two-day battle exceeded anything America had ever known in its history.

Historian Greg Mertz grew up on the Shiloh battlefield, hiking its trails and exploring its fields. Attack at Daylight and Whip Them taps into five decades of intimate familiarity with a battle that rewrote America’s notions of war."

About The Author

Greg Mertz has worked for 35 years for the National Park Service and is currently the Supervisory Historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Raised in what is now Wildwood, Missouri, he has a degree in park administration from the University of Missouri and a masters in public administration from Shippensburg University. He has written several articles for Blue and Gray magazine, is the founding president of the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table, and is a former vice president of the Brandy Station Foundation.

Timothy B. Smith (Ph.D. Mississippi State University, 2001) is a veteran of the National Park Service and currently teaches history at the University of Tennessee at Martin. In addition to many articles and essays, he is the author, editor, or co-editor of eighteen books, including Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg (2004), which won the nonfiction book award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation (2012), which won the Fletcher Pratt Award and the McLemore Prize, Shiloh: Conquer or Perish (2014), which won the Richard B. Harwell Award, the Tennessee History Book Award, and the Douglas Southall Freeman Award, and Grant Invades Tennessee: The 1862 Battles for Forts Henry and Donelson (2016), which won the Tennessee History book Award, the Emerging Civil War Book Award, and the Douglas Southall Freeman Award. He is currently writing a book on the May 19 and 22 Vicksburg assaults. He lives with his wife Kelly and children Mary Kate and Leah Grace in Adamsville, Tennessee.


"As a volume in the Savas Beatie series “Emerging Civil War”, this is primarily intended for the relative novice, but even the veteran student of the war will likely find it interesting."

- The NYMAS Review

"Combining microhistory with a bit of historiography as well as it the ideal battlefield guide for those souls, although the casual passerby will benefit from Mertz’s insights as well."

- The Civil War Monitor

“Smith aptly contrasts Shiloh as a place of large violence and death at the time of the battle, with the religious connotations of the place, illustrated by the Shiloh Meeting House. Shiloh today is a place for peace and reflection. Furthermore, the battlefield is a place to relearn and to recover love for the United States, its accomplishments, and its potentialities."

- Midwest Book Review

"Mertz's book possesses the series's typical abundance of photographs and other illustrations. There are seventeen maps, which is an unusually large number for an ECW entry."

- Civil War Books and Authors

More from this publisher