With the Union army pushed back nearly to the Tennessee River, a pair of timberclad gunboats played a key role in repulsing the Confederates’ last desperate charges late on the Battle of Shiloh’s first day.hiloh, or Pittsburg Landing . . . has been perhaps less understood, or to state the case more accurately, more persistently misunderstood, than any other engagement . . . during the entire Rebellion.”
One misunderstanding that persists concerns the battle’s naval aspects. Any standard history of Shiloh mentions the two Union gunboats that fought there, but generally downplays their part in the battle. This view also usually overlooks the Navy’s role transporting men and matériel to Pittsburg Landing, reconnoitering farther upriver for military operations, and especially stabilizing the tenuous Federal left flank along the Tennessee during the battle.