The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign: Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion / Edition 2

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The Petersburg Campaign was what finally did it. After months of relentless conflict throughout 1864, the Confederate army led by General Robert E. Lee holed up in the Virginia city of Petersburg as Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant's vastly superior forces lurked nearby. The brutal fighting that took place around the city during 1864 and into 1865 decimated both armies as Grant used his manpower advantage to repeatedly smash the Confederate lines, a tactic that eventually resulted in the decisive breakthrough that ultimately doomed the Confederacy. The breakthrough and the events that led up to it are the subject of A. Wilson Greene's groundbreaking book The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign, a significant revision of a much-praised work first published in 2000.

Surprisingly, despite Petersburg's decisive importance to the war's outcome, the campaign has received scant attention from historians.  Greene's book, with its incisive analysis and compelling narrative, changes this, offering readers a rich account of the personalities and strategies that shaped the final phase of the fighting.

Greene's ultimate focus on the climatic engagements of April 2, 1865, the day that Confederate control of Richmond and Petersburg was effectively ended.  The book tells this story from the perspectives of the two army groups that clashed on that day:  the Union Sixth Corps and the Confederate Third Corps. But Greene does more than just recount the military tactics at Petersburg; he also connects the reader intimately with how the war affected society and spotlights the soldiers, both officers and enlisted men, whose experiences defined the outcome. Thanks to his extensive research and consultation of rare source materials, Greene gives readers a vibrant perspective on the campaign that broke the Confederate spirit once and for all.

A. Wilson Greene is president of Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier near Petersburg, Virginia. He also has taught at Mary Washington College and worked for sixteen years with the National Park Service.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The research is impeccable and the prose lively. Greene's detailed and perceptive knowledge of the complex terrain makes this book both authoritative and exciting. The blend of tactical insight and common soldier perspective tells an important story that sheds much light on both the death throes of the Confederacy and the triumph of the Union.”  -George C. Rable, author of Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!

“An outstanding study of the final operations at Petersburg. Will Greene makes excellent use of source material and presents it in a way that is both cogent and compelling. The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign is a great book.” -Richard J. Sommers, author of Richmond Redeemed: The Petersburg Campaign

“Greene connects the strategic and tactical movements of both armies to the social and political context of the war, providing the reader with a deeper understanding of what Confederate and Union soldiers were thinking and feeling as the war came to a speedy close.” -Peter S. Carmichael, author of The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572336100
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 573
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

A. Wilson Greene is president of Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier near Petersburg, Virginia. He also has taught at Mary Washington College and worked for sixteen years with the National Park Service.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Richard J. Sommers xi

Preface xiii

1 Battles arid Leaders in 1864 Virginia 1

2 The Sixth Corps Prepares for the Spring Campaign 39

3 A. P. Hill's Corps Survives the Winter 67

4 Strategy and Combat in February and March 1865 99

5 Prelude to Breakthrough, March 26-April 1 143

6 Final Preparations 189

7 The Breakthrough 215

8 Consequences of the Breakthrough 253

9 The Defense and Capture of Fort Gregg 281

10 Hold On until Nightfall 311

11 The Fall of Petersburg 341

Postscripts The Breakthrough in Perspective 363

Appendix 1 The Battlefields Today 367

Appendix 2 Order of Battle 373

Notes 391

Bibliography 513

Index 541

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