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The Wilderness Campaign
     

The Wilderness Campaign

by Gary W. Gallagher
 

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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

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'The Wilderness campaign of May 5-6, 1864, initiated an epic confrontation between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee that would ultimately end, eleven months later, with Lee's surrender at Appomattox. The eight essays assembled here explore aspects of the background, conduct, and repercussions of the fighting in the Wilderness. Contributors to this volume revise and enhance our thinking on the battle, highlighting ways in which the military and nonmilitary spheres of war intersected in the Wilderness. The contributors are Peter S. Carmichael, Gary W. Gallagher, John J. Hennessy, Robert E. L. Krick, Robert K. Krick, Carol Reardon, Gordon C. Rhea, and Brooks D. Simpson.—>

Editorial 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
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 "

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807835890
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
01/01/2012
Series:
Military Campaigns of the Civil War
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
5 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
There is much in this volume that is of value to historians and buffs alike.—Military History

An important contribution to our understanding of this complex campaign.—The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.)

Some of the most important and innovative scholarship on Civil War battles and their political and social impact has appeared in the volumes of the Military Campaigns of the Civil War series. I strongly recommend these essays to everyone who is interested in the latest findings and interpretations.—James M. McPherson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom: The Era of the Civil War

Well conceived and well presented. . . . The eight essays in no way presume to be the full story of the Wilderness fighting, but the full story can never be gained without consulting this work.—Richmond Times Dispatch

Thought provoking and thoroughly researched essays, each dealing with a different aspect of the Wilderness Campaign. . . . This book is an excellent addition to the Civil War student's shelf.—Blue & Gray Magazine

Overall, these essays offer insights and details about aspects of the Wilderness battle that tend to intrigue and enlighten the serious student of the Civil War, and it is to Gallagher's credit that he fostered this book.—H-Net Reviews

An assemblage of front-rank scholars tackles a complex subject in The Wilderness Campaign and delivers a series of well-researched and thoughtful essays, rich in insight, mature judgment, and—better still—felicitous prose. Editor Gallagher has brought out an outstanding series of books of essays on the military history of the Civil War, and The Wilderness Campaign is a worthy addition. We can only hope that the series continues through the whole tally of campaigns in the East.—William C. Davis, author of A Government of Our Own: The Making of the Confederacy

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. . . . A useful and interesting addition to our knowledge of one of the Civil War's most dramatic battles.—Journal of Southern History

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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