The American Civil War, Volume 3: The War in the Eat 1863-1865 (Essential Histories, Volume 5)
Robert K. Krick
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Great battles and famous commanders dominated the military history of the Civil War in the Eastern Theater during the period 1863-1865. This book includes revealing details of the clash at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the costliest battle ever waged in the Western Hemisphere, but, contrary to common belief, puts forward the theory that it was not a great turning point in the war. This book also examines the events that led to Robert E Lee accepting generous terms of surrender from Ulysses S Grant, bringing the war in Virginia to a close. A fascinating look at this crucial point in the American Civil War.
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May, a Federal assault broke into the Doles' salient and two days later about 25,000 Northern troops crushed the nose of the Mule Shoe. Lee hurriedly constructed a new final line across the base of the Mule Shoe, and easily repulsed an attack against the position on 18 May. The next day, a brisk fight at the Harris Farm, northeast of the main battlefield, ended major action at Spotsylvania. On the 21 st, Grant moved southeast in a new attempt to interpose between Lee and Richmond. After two days
wearing down the will of their foe. Southerners had nothing remotely like the means to (or any interest in) subjugate their opponents as a vassal state; they merely longed to be let alone. Perhaps the most important day in the second half of the war, therefore, was 8 November 1864, when the Northern populace voted a second term for President Abraham Lincoln - who had been certain a few weeks earlier that he would lose. With the aggressive war party still in power in the North, determined to win
Confederate charge that retook the position erupted over the lip of (Public domain) 59 the Crater and surged through its midst in hand-to-hand combat that turned the pit into 'one seething cauldron of struggling, dying men.' General J. C. C. Sanders of Alabama, who commanded a brigade at the scene, wrote that Southern guns 'literally mowed down the enemy piling up Yankees and Negroes on each other.' Confederate artillerist Frank Huger used similar language: 'our men literally butchered them.'
A Massachusetts officer described the crowded situation inside the Crater as so tight that 'many of those killed were held in a standing position until jostled to the ground.' The performance of the black troops generated considerable controversy. Some Northerners applauded their efforts; others damned them. A private from Massachusetts, writing the next day, called the black soldiers 'cowardly rascals' and declared that they 'didn't get far before they broke and skedaddled ... one might as well
wrenching loss. Fannie Sanders described dreaming of John every night, then awakening to the living nightmare of the truth. 'Why! Oh why, was not my worthless life taken instead of that useful one!' Fannie cried. 'I have been blinded with tears.' Families on both sides of the Potomac had abundant cause for grief. The fighting 61 The fight for Globe Tavern and the railroad cost some 4,300 Union casualties, and 2,300 Confederate. With a new anchor on the Weldon Railroad, Grant's lines stretched