Battles in the East

The Final Week of Bloodshed – Conclusion to Spotsylvania

The fight thus far at Spotsylvania had been nothing short of a slaughter house. The continuous fighting for twenty hours at the Bloody Angle was the pinnacle of that slaughter with 17,000 casualties in all. Who was to blame? Many pointed fingers at Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant’s “grit of a bulldog” as Abraham Lincoln called… Continue reading The Final Week of Bloodshed – Conclusion to Spotsylvania

Battles in the East

“Saturnalia of Blood” – May 12th, 1864, Spotsylvania

The morning of May 12th, 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House had begun with such promise. An early dawn attack upon the Army of Northern Virginia works that composed what was dubbed the “Mule Shoe” looked to be succeeding. By the end of the day, it would bear another name that echoes through the horrors of… Continue reading “Saturnalia of Blood” – May 12th, 1864, Spotsylvania

Battles in the East

“More Than Human Flesh Could Stand” – May 11th – 12th, 1864, Spotsylvania

In the face of staggering losses and terribly mangled plans, Ulysses Grant was still optimistic on the morning of May 11th, 1864. Despite his best efforts to find that weakness in Robert Lee’s heavily fortified line along Laurel Hill and the – supposedly vulnerable – salient to the east, Grant was left with more casualties… Continue reading “More Than Human Flesh Could Stand” – May 11th – 12th, 1864, Spotsylvania

Battles in the East

“Sheer Madness” – Spotsylvania, May 10th, 1864

The Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia were stuck again at Spotsylvania Court House, with the Confederates maintaining the high ground at Laurel Hill as they had over the last two days, and the Federals under Ulysses Grant desperate to find a weak spot in the graycoat’s defenses. Under the impression… Continue reading “Sheer Madness” – Spotsylvania, May 10th, 1864

Battles in the East

Todd’s Tavern Trouble – May 7th, 1864

The first roadblock on the road to Spotsylvania was Todd’s Tavern. Another important intersection just five miles south of the Union line, Todd’s Tavern lay at the crossroads of Brock Road (north-south) and Catharpin Road (east-west). Ulysses Grant ordered Phillip Sheridan and his cavalry to clear Brock Road of all Confederates. Here’s where the trouble… Continue reading Todd’s Tavern Trouble – May 7th, 1864

Battles in the East, Civil War Trivia

Wilderness Recap (Links)

It occurred to me that I wrote a LOT of posts about the Wilderness in this last blog series and they were a bit scattered between non-Wilderness posts. So, for the convenience of future readers, here are the links to each of these posts so you'll be able to find them in some reasonable order.… Continue reading Wilderness Recap (Links)

Battles in the East

Moving Out of the Wilderness

Almost nothing had been going right for Ulysses Grant in the Wilderness. His usual style of giving general orders and letting his subordinates fill in the details was not serving him well. Ambrose Burnside, acting in independent command with his IX Corps, dropped the ball and arrived too late to do any real damage as… Continue reading Moving Out of the Wilderness

Battles in the East

“Hell Itself” – Wilderness Conclusion – May 6th, 1864

Longstreet’s wounding dealt a morale blow to Lee and his Confederates. Overriding Longstreet’s order that Field should take his place and initiate the flanking attack, Lee instead moved Richard Anderson into the void, who knew next to nothing about the terrain or Longstreet’s plan. On top of that, Longstreet’s First Corps were a mangled mess… Continue reading “Hell Itself” – Wilderness Conclusion – May 6th, 1864

Battles in the East

Savage in its Character – Wilderness, early May 6th 1864

May 5th, 1864 had ended in a bloody and twisted mess in the area called The Wilderness in central Virginia. In the battle that initiated the Overland Campaign, we’ve got the two most famous generals of the Civil War going up against one another for the first time. On the Federal side, we’ve got Ulysses… Continue reading Savage in its Character – Wilderness, early May 6th 1864

Battles in the East

“Death Held High Carnival” – Widow Tapp Field, May 5th 1864

Just as Richard Ewell had thrown off Gouverneur Warren’s advance south to Todd’s Tavern on the morning of May 5th, so did A.P. Hill surprise Brigadier General Samuel Crawford down along the Orange Plank Road. The Confederate general met with some thin resistance of New York cavalry and effectively cut off the Federal cavalry unit… Continue reading “Death Held High Carnival” – Widow Tapp Field, May 5th 1864