Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Eastern Theater Issues’ Category

The North Anna Campaign

An Excerpt from the Current Issue: Volume 31, #6

Table of Contents

The North Anna Campaign

by J. Michael Miller

As 1864 opened yet another year of war, President Abraham Lincoln determined to challenge his most successful commander, Ulysses S. Grant, by elevating him to lieutenant general and command all of the Armies of the United States. Lincoln reasoned the war was turning now in favor of the Union, but the coming year would prove decisive in both bringing the conflict to a successful resolution and determining the future leadership of the United States with the upcoming Presidential election in the fall. Grant’s proven skill in defeating the enemy armies in the West would now be tested at a new level—that of grand strategy.

In his address to Congress on December 8, 1863, Lincoln had laid out his policy for ending the war and beginning the process of reconstruction. “We have the new reckoning. The crisis which threatened to divide the friends of the Union is past,” said the President. “In the midst of other cares, however important, we must not lose sight of the fact that the war power is still our main reliance. To that power alone can we look, yet for a time. . . . Hence our chiefest care must still be directed to the army and navy.”

Read more

From Sailor’s Creek to Cumberland Church

An Excerpt from the current issue: Volume 31, #3

From Sailor’s Creek to Cumberland Church
April 6-7, 1865

by Chris Calkins

Seventy-Two Hours Before Appomattox

 

The smell of fresh dirt permeated the air as arriving Federal soldiers of Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan’s cavalry and the V Corps infantry, newly under the command of Maj. Gen. Charles Griffin, began digging a line of breastworks near Jetersville Station. Running perpendicular to the Richmond & Danville Railroad, the works lay across the path of the Confederate army’s route to North Carolina. Barely seven miles to the northeast at Amelia Court House was Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia which was now beginning its march along the railroad in the direction of Danville and the state line. At this point Lee still hoped to reach this location and combine his forces with those of the Army of Tennessee under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. It was April 5, 1865, and the Southern commander still had hopes of continuing the struggle which had started nearly four years ago.

Read more

Bermuda Hundred

Volume XXXI, #1 • An Excerpt From:

Bermuda Hundred

View this issues Table of Contents

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING THIS ISSUE’S TOUR

 

by Herbert Schiller

In the early spring of 1864, the Federal and Confederate armies began preparing for their fourth campaign season. Much had changed in three years of war. The shrunken Confederacy was largely on the defensive. Facing the large Federal Army of the Potomac in the east was Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. In the west, William T. Sherman’s Union forces at Chattanooga, Tennessee, faced Joe Johnston’s Army of Tennessee in northwest Georgia.

Read more

The Battle of The Crater

Volume XXX Issue #5 • An Excerpt From:

The Battle of the Crater

View this issues Table of Contents

by Emmanuel Dabney

In March 1864, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Ulysses S. Grant to be the new general-in-chief of the Federal forces. The Civil War turned three years old in the spring of 1864, and for Lincoln and the War Department the conflict was no closer to victory than when it started. Despite assertions made in the years since the war that the South was doomed to defeat after the Battle of Gettysburg, the truth is that the Confederacy was still motivated to fight the war. Grant and Lincoln both recognized this and for Lincoln it was particularly important to end the war, as he faced an election in the fall of 1864. General Grant decided to accompany Maj. Gen. George G. Meade’s Army of the Potomac for the spring campaign of 1864.

Read more

The Gettysburg Town Fight!

Volume XXX Issue #3 • An Excerpt From:

The Gettysburg Town Fight

by David G. Martin

Gettysburg in the spring of 1863 was a bustling market town typical of those in southeastern Pennsylvania at the time; the fact that it was the Adams County seat and nexus of ten roads and one railroad added to its activity level. The town had been painfully involved in the great Civil War that had been waging for two years and had sent its fair share of soldier boys to join the conflict. Though the town was located just a day’s travel north of the Potomac, Gettysburgians little expected that the war would physically come to them. That is exactly what happened at the beginning of the summer, when two great armies converged on the town to fight what is generally considered to be the most important battle of the war.

Read more

Chancellorsvile Pt. 2

Volume XXIX Issue #5 • An Excerpt From:

Chancellorsville
Action from May 3-6, 1863

by Frank A. O’Reilly

Gen. Robert E. Lee faced a monumental crisis on the grim morning of May 3, 1863—one of the darkest Sundays in American military history. Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s brilliant flank attack at Chancellorsville on May 2 had created an opportunity for Lee to either escape his opponent’s overwhelming clutches, or dare to win the battle decisively right then, right there. At the same time, Lee knew he was weaker and more vulnerable than ever before. He had divided his small army into three parts: two divisions (McLaws’ and Anderson’s) of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s corps, under Lee’s direct control; Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early’s command holding the line at Fredericksburg; and Jackson’s forces to the west. Lee’s command structure was also in turmoil; in short, Lee had no corps commanders. Longstreet’s corps, less two divisions, had been sent to southeast Virginia on detached duty, and Stonewall Jackson had been felled by the mistaken fire of his own men. Stonewall’s replacement, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill, also had been hit and had to relinquish command. Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart of the cavalry now commanded Jackson’s infantry by virtue of his rank. It remained to be seen what kind of corps leader the cavalier would make.

Read more

Salem Church

Volume XXX Issue #1 • An Excerpt From:

Second Fredericksburg
and Salem Church

by Erik F. Nelson

Chancellorsville has become a story of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson boldly confronting a boastful Joe Hooker and his massive Union army. The popular narrative is Lee and Jackson meeting after the opening engagement on May 1, 1863, Jackson’s stunning surprise attack on the afternoon of May 2, his loss to friendly fire later that evening, and Lee’s triumphant ride into the Chancellorsville clearing on May 3, surrounded by his cheering warriors.

Read more