Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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p. vii

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xv

The battle of the Wilderness inaugurated an epic confrontation between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee that would continue unabated until the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered eleven months later at Appomattox Court House. On May 5-6, 1864, the preeminent commanders of the Civil War first tested each other in the dismal clutches...

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1. Great Expectations: Ulysses S. Grant, the Northern Press, and the Opening of the Wilderness Campaign

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pp. 1-35

Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman met in early 1863 to discuss how to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi. Unhappy with the Army of the Tennessee's position on the west bank of the Mississippi River, Sherman urged his superior to retrace...

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2. Our Hearts Are Full of Hope: The Army of Northern Virginia in the Spring of 1864

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pp. 36-65

A strong sense of optimism pervaded the Army of Northern Virginia as its officers and men approached the spring campaign of 1864. Although they had endured a winter marked by sometimes severe shortages of food and materiel, their...

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3. I Dread the Spring: The Army of the Potomac Prepares for the Overland Campaign

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pp. 66-106

On the morning of November 30. 1863, the Army of the Potomac stood on the verge of what might have been the grandest, most dramatic, most horrific moment in its history. More than 30,000 veterans of places such as Manassas and Gettysburg prepared to go across nearly a mile of open...

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4. Union Cavalry in the Wilderness: The Education

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pp. 107-135

The battle of the Wilderness witnessed the opening performances of premier Union cavalry commanders Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan and Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson. Sheridan would win renown as the Army of the Potomac's cavalry chief and for his exploits in the Shenandoah Valley....

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5. Escaping the Shadow of Gettysburg: Richard S. Ewell and Ambrose Powell Hill at the Wilderness

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pp. 136-159

The reputations of Richard Stoddert Ewell and Ambrose Powell Hill have never recovered from Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. Many historians have argued that both men followed poor performances during their debuts in corps command at Gettysburg with a similar pattern of inept...

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6. "Lee to the Rear," the Texans Cried

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pp. 160-200

"Go back, General Lee, go back," the men of the famous Texas Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia shouted on the morning of May 6,1864. "We won't go forward unless you go back." The general eventually bowed to their entreaties, and his veteran soldiers lived up to their promise by advancing...

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7. The Other Grant: Lewis A. Grant and the Vermont Brigade in the Battle of the Wilderness

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pp. 201-235

"In some respects the battle of the Wilderness was the most remarkable of the civil war," wrote General Grant in 1897.1 Not Ulysses S. Grant, who faced Robert E. Lee for the first time in the tangled undergrowth west of Fredericksburg, but "the other Grant" penned these words. Newly promoted...

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8. Like a Duck on a June Bug: James Longstreet's Flank Attack, May 6,1864

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pp. 236-264

When military historians define the place of an army in the annals of warfare, they frequently point to some unique characteristic or maneuver as a trademark. Hannibal and his Carthaginians are inextricably associated with envelopment tactics,...

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Bibliographic Essay

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pp. 265-267

The notes for the essays provide a good guide to much of the literature pertaining to the Wilderness. Few of the titles stress the broader political and social context within which Grant and Lee commenced their operations in May 1864. The field of Civil War history remains sadly divided between historians interested in martial...

Contributors

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pp. 269-270

Index

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pp. 271-283