Shiloh: A Novel by Shelby Foote

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When weighing the huge debate of fiction versus non-fiction, one must take into account the element of imagination that one is able to use when writing a novel regarding events that have occurred in the past. Shiloh: A Novel, written by Shelby Foote, can use several different components related to fiction in order to help the reader be able to further comprehend what happened at the Battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War without having to explain the actual events by using real historical references. There are several things that can be depicted in history by using a work of fiction as opposed to non-fiction. In the novel where it states, “They were Tennessee troops who prided themselves on their marksmanship, but so far as I could tell, not a ball came within ten feet of that buck,” the author could be letting the reader use their imagination in picturing what the fabricated Confederate Army consisted of, which were inexperienced and noisy troops without much experience in battle, especially those of dire importance (24). The author can also use the historical facts prevalent in regards to the Civil War, and in a way, mesh these with a creative elegance to truly master the art of fiction in a novel. The author must not only fully understand the details about the past, but also should be able to weave in certain events with the themes presented with fiction as a whole. In doing this, if the author is effective in their craft, they can appeal to the reader on an

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