The Wilderness Campaign / Edition 1

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Overview

In the spring of 1864, in the vast Virginia scrub forest known as the Wilderness, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee first met in battle. The Wilderness campaign of May 5-6 initiated an epic confrontation between these two Civil War commanders—one that would finally end, eleven months later, with Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

The eight essays here assembled explore aspects of the background, conduct, and repercussions of the fighting in the Wilderness. Through an often-revisionist lens, contributors to this volume focus on topics such as civilian expectations for the campaign, morale in the two armies, and the generalship of Lee, Grant, Philip H. Sheridan, Richard S. Ewell, A. P. Hill, James Longstreet, and Lewis A. Grant. Taken together, these essays revise and enhance existing work on the battle, highlighting ways in which the military and nonmilitary spheres of war intersected in the Wilderness.

The contributors:
—Peter S. Carmichael, 'Escaping the Shadow of Gettysburg: Richard S. Ewell and Ambrose Powell Hill at the Wilderness' —Gary W. Gallagher, 'Our Hearts Are Full of Hope: The Army of Northern Virginia in the Spring of 1864' —John J. Hennessy, 'I Dread the Spring: The Army of the Potomac Prepares for the Overland Campaign' —Robert E. L. Krick, 'Like a Duck on a June Bug: James Longstreet's Flank Attack, May 6, 1864' —Robert K. Krick, ''Lee to the Rear,' the Texans Cried' —Carol Reardon, 'The Other Grant: Lewis A. Grant and the Vermont Brigade in the Battle of the Wilderness' —Gordon C. Rhea, 'Union Cavalry in the Wilderness: The Education of Philip H. Sheridan and James H. Wilson' —Brooks D. Simpson, 'Great Expectations: Ulysses S. Grant, the Northern Press, and the Opening of the Wilderness Campaign'

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Those interested in the Wilderness campaign, or in the Civil War in general, will find much of interest here."
Military History of the West

"This book offers detailed, in-depth analyses of key events or overlooked aspects of an important campaign.

Journal of Southern History"

This book is an excellent addition to the Civil War student's shelf.

Blue & Gray Magazine

Well conceived and well presented.

Richmond Times Dispatch

"An important contribution to our understanding of this complex campaign.

The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.)"

"Overall, these essays . . . tend to intrigue and enlighten the serious student of the Civil War.

H-Net Reviews "

School Library Journal
YAIn 1864, Ulysses S. Grant's Union troops collided with Robert E. Lee's vaunted Army of Northern Virginia in the densely wooded area known as the Wilderness. The ensuing battle was the opening salvo in a campaign that ended 11 months later with Lee's surrender at Appomatox Courthouse and the virtual end of the war. This title presents eight essays by noted Civil War scholars that examine the many aspects of this crucial battle including the leadership, the composition of each army, why the soldiers fought, critical events, legends that arose in the decades following the event, the individual heroics, and how this battle set the tone for what was to follow. The essays are well written and organized chronologically, which makes the ebb and flow of this encounter easy to follow.Robert Burnham, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807857854
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Series: Military Campaigns of the Civil War Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary W. Gallagher is John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He has written or edited two dozen books in the field of Civil War history, including The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 and Lee and His Army in Confederate History (both from the University of North Carolina Press).

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Great Expectations: Ulysses S. Grant, the Northern Press, and the Opening of the Wilderness Campaign 1
Our Hearts Are Full of Hope: The Army of Northern Virginia in the Spring of 1864 36
I Dread the Spring: The Army of the Potomac Prepares for the Overland Campaign 66
Union Cavalry in the Wilderness: The Education of Philip H. Sheridan and James H. Wilson 106
Escaping the Shadow of Gettysburg: Richard S. Ewell and Ambrose Powell Hill at the Wilderness 136
"Lee to the Rear," the Texans Cried 160
The Other Grant: Lewis A. Grant and the Vermont Brigade in the Battle of the Wilderness 201
Like a Duck on a June Bug: James Longstreet's Flank Attack, May 6, 1864 236
Bibliographic Essay 265
Contributors 269
Index 271
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