Photographer tells tales of battles

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 18, 2007

JACKSON — On April 6 and 7, 1862, a fierce battle raged between the armies of Confederate generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T Beauregard and Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and Don Carlos Buell. The two- day battle at Shiloh, Tenn., was the deadliest in U.S. history up to that point. Although Shiloh was a Union triumph the damage to both sides was staggering. More than 20,000 men were killed, wounded, captured or reported missing.

“Shiloh and Corinth: Sentinels of Stone” (University Press of Mississippi) examines the brave deeds performed by soldiers of the North and South. Award winning photojournalist Tim Isbell uses the memorials erected at the battlefields as a device for telling the compelling story of the soldiers, citizens, and regiments. Over 90 full color photographs bring the battlefields back to life, offering readers an intimate look at two places forever linked through the carnage of war.

Corinth, where a battle unfolded in October 1862, was a critical railroad junction, and its loss doomed Mississippi’s Confederates. When he landed at Shiloh, Grant was intending to capture Corinth.

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The book chronicles the deaths of Albert Sidney Johnston and W. H. L. Wallace, the first victories of Ulysses S. Grant’s military career, the failures of Earl Van Dorn, the torment of William Rosecrans and the angst of Sterling Price. “Shiloh and Corinth: Sentinels of Stone” leads the reader to the present-day landscapes where America learned the Civil War would be long and bloody.

Isbell of Gulfport, is a photojournalist with the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun Herald in Biloxi.

He has been inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame and is a Knight Foundation/National Endowment of the Arts recipient for his photographic study of the Vietnamese people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Isbell is a former photographer for The Natchez Democrat.