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From the PublisherThis fine book covers a significant unexplored topic in gratifying depth.
—Robert K. Krick, author of Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain and Civil War Weather in Virginia
Earl J.Hess's study of armies and fortifications turns to the 1864 Overland Campaign to cover battles from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor. Drawing on meticulous research in primary sources and careful examination of battlefields at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Bermuda Hundred, and Cold Harbor, Hess analyzes Union and Confederate movements and tactics and the new way Grant and Lee employed entrenchments in an evolving style of battle. Hess argues that Grant's relentless and pressing attacks kept the armies always within striking distance, compelling soldiers to dig in for protection.
If you wish to better appreciate the deadly nature of Civil War combat in the eastern theater during the spring of 1864, you need to read this excellent study. Earl Hess has burnished his already exceptional reputation for painstaking research, clear prose, and successfully balancing the plans and orders of field commanders with the basic brutality of life at the point of the bayonet and along the trench lines that snaked across almost every ridge line from Fredericksburg to Richmond. First class scholarship!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 5, 2007
An excellent study of trench warfare and the continuation of a three-part series. Dr. Earl J. Hess has successfully covered his research in the Overland Campaign. The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor and Bermuda Hundred are examined in thorough detail. Hess describes both the Union and Confederate field earthworks, and how Grant and Lee used them. This new era of field entrenchments kept both armies within striking distance of each other. This enabled the soldiers to dig in for self-protection. The work is an excellent example of serious research, which goes beyond the encyclopedic type book on the individual battles. Hess uses historic photographs and new maps of trench remnants to explain and strengthen his case. Despite massive casualties Grant pressed forward to gain the strategic control and the initiative. Grant was able to hold it for the rest of the war in the eastern theater. I eagerly await Dr. Hess writing of the third installment, which is to cover Petersburg.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.