By Gordon C. Rhea
Gordon Rhea's gripping fourth quantity at the spring 1864 campaign-which pitted Ulysses S. supply opposed to Robert E. Lee for the 1st time within the Civil War-vividly re-creates the battles and maneuvers from the stalemate at the North Anna River during the chilly Harbor offensive. chilly Harbor: provide and Lee, may possibly 26-June three, 1864 showcases Rhea's tenacious study which elicits wonderful new evidence from the files of a section oddly missed or mythologized by way of historians. In transparent and profuse tactical element, Rhea tracks the notable occasions of these 9 days, giving a stunning new interpretation of the well-known conflict that left seven thousand Union casualties and in basic terms fifteen hundred accomplice lifeless or wounded. right here, supply isn't really a callous butcher, and Lee doesn't salary an ideal struggle. in the pages of chilly Harbor, Rhea separates truth from fiction in a charged, evocative narrative. He leaves readers below a moonless sky, with furnish thinking about the eastward process the James River fifteen miles south of the encamped armies.
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Additional resources for Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26-June 3, 1864
Hill, called "Little Powell" by his men, had excelled as a division commander early in the war but failed to meet Lee's expectations when elevated in 1863 to head the Confederate 3rd Corps. Hill was frequently sick and remained bedridden for much of the spring campaign, returning to active service on May 21 only to suffer an embarrassing reverse at Jericho Mills. " A strong set of division commanders-Major General Henry Heth, Major General Cadmus M. Wilcox, and Brigadier General William Mahone-helped compensate for Hill's shortcomings.
Anderson, a stolid, undistinguished professional soldier from South Carolina, commanded the 1st Corps following Longstreet's wounding. His best days had been May 7 and 8, when he fled the Wilderness to escape smoke and stench from decaying corpses and inadvertently camped at precisely the right spot to block Grant's advance to Spotsylvania Court House. He had remained largely untested since then. Two of Anderson's division heads-Brigadier General Joseph B. Kershaw and Major General Charles W. Field-were talented and aggressive, but his third top subordinate, Pickett, had only recently rejoined the corps and was considered a weak leader.
Grant needed only to shift Hancock's corps and Burnside's other two divisions to position the entire army for the maneuver. All of Grant's turning movements thus far, they added, had been around Lee's right. A maneuver around Lee's left might catch the Confederates by surprise. Grant was concerned that concentrating his entire force around Lee's western flank might cause more problems than it solved. First was the question of supply. Provisioning the Army of the Potomac and its 50,000 animals was no easy matter, particularly in war-ravaged central Virginia.