His resolve entirely changed the face of warfare.
Promoted to command of all the Federal armies, the new lieutenant general chose to ride shotgun with the Army of the Potomac as it once again threw itself against the wily, audacious Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia. But Grant did something no one else had done before: he threw his army at Lee over and over again.
At Spotsylvania Court House, the second phase of the campaign, the two armies shifted from stalemate in the Wilderness to slugfest in the mud. Most commonly known for the horrific 22-hour hand-to-hand combat in the pouring rain at the Bloody Angle, the battle of Spotsylvania Court House actually stretched from May 8–21, 1864, fourteen long days of battle and maneuver.
Spotsylvania Court House represents a chess match of immeasurable stakes between two master opponents: Grant, the irresistible force, hammering with his overwhelming numbers and unprecedented power, versus Lee, the immovable object, hunkered down behind the most formidable defensive works yet seen on the continent. This clash is detailed in A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, May 8–21, 1864.
As former battlefield guides at Spotsylvania Court House, authors Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White know the ground as intimately as anyone today. With the knowledge and insight that comes from that familiarity, coupled with their command of the facts, Mackowski and White weave together a gripping narrative of one of the war’s most consequential engagements.
A Season of Slaughter is part of the new Emerging Civil War Series offering compelling, easy-to-read overviews of some of the Civil War’s most important stories. The masterful storytelling is richly enhanced with hundreds of photos, illustrations, and maps.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Touring the Battlefield/List of Maps vii
Chapter 1 The Campaign-May 1864 1
Chapter 2 Out of the Wilderness-May 7, 1864 9
Chapter 3 Todd's Tavern-May 7-8, 1864 15
Chapter 4 Laurel Hill-May 8, 1864 23
Chapter 5 The Death of "Uncle John" Sedgwick-May 9, 1864 35
Chapter 6 Upton's Attack-May 10, 1864 45
Chapter 7 The First Day of Rain-May 11, 1864 57
Chapter 8 The Mule Shoe, Part I: The Union Attack-May 12, 1864 67
Chapter 9 The Mule Shoe, Part II: The Confederate Counterattacks-May 12, 1864 79
Chapter 10 The Mule Shoe, Part III: The Bloody Angle-May 12-13, 1864 89
Chapter 11 Heth's Salient-May 12, 1864 101
Chapter 12 Myer's Hill-May 13, 1864 107
Chapter 13 Mud and Maneuver-May 14-17, 1864 111
Chapter 14 Engineering Over Infantry-May 18, 1864 117
Chapter 15 Harris Farm-May 19, 1864 125
Chapter 16 The Campaign Moves South-May 20-21, 1864 131
Appendix A The Battle of Yellow Tavern Danut T. Davis 139
Appendix B Civilians on the Battlefield Kathleen Logothetis 147
Appendix C A History of the Battlefield John F. Cummings III 151
Appendix D Spotsylvania in Memory Chris Mackowski 155
Order of Battle: Spotsylvania Court House 160
Suggested Reading 172
About the Authors 174