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: furnish and Lee, could 26-June three, 1864 showcases Rhea's tenacious learn which elicits gorgeous new proof from the documents of a part oddly overlooked or mythologized via historians. In transparent and profuse tactical aspect, Rhea tracks the notable occasions of these 9 days, giving a shocking new interpretation of the well-known conflict that left seven thousand Union casualties and in simple terms fifteen hundred accomplice lifeless or wounded. right here, furnish 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 provide brooding about the eastward process the James River fifteen miles south of the encamped armies.
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Additional info for Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26-June 3, 1864
He overlooked offensive opportunities in the Wilderness, lost his composure during Grant's massive attack on the Mule Shoe, and bungled a reconnaissance-in-force at Harris Farm a few days later. Now, at the North Anna, he was suffering from dysentery. The eccentric Virginian's days in command were numbered, but Lee took heart from the 2nd Corps's strong set of division commanders. Major General Jubal A. Early, a headstrong bachelor and former prosecutor, possessed the gift for aggressive warring conspicuously absent in Ewell.
Ewell, head of the Confederate 2nd Corps, exhibited growing signs of sickness and instability throughout the month. Lee was left with an assemblage of senior commanders that was far from ideal. Major General Richard H. 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.
Russell's division of Wright's corps, along with two four-gun batteries, was to withdraw from its entrenchments, cross to the north side of the North Anna River, and bivouac at Chesterfield Station, three miles north of the river and well behind the Union army's eastern wing. At dark, Russell, accompanied by cavalry and engineers with pontoons, was to march swiftly along the Pamunkey toward Dabney Ferry while cavalry demonstrations at Littlepage Bridge and Taylor's Ford concealed his movement from Confederate scouts on the southern shore.