Grinding, bloody, and ultimately decisive, the Petersburg Campaign was the Civil War's longest and among its most complex. Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee squared off for more than nine months in their struggle for Petersburg, the key to the Confederate capital at Richmond. Featuring some of the war's most notorious battles, the campaign played out against a backdrop of political drama and crucial fighting elsewhere, with massive costs for soldiers and civilians alike. After failing to bull his way into Petersburg, Grant concentrated on isolating the city from its communications with the rest of the surviving Confederacy, stretching Lee's defenses to the breaking point. When Lee's desperate breakout attempt failed in March 1865, Grant launched his final offensives that forced the Confederates to abandon the city on April 2, 1865. A week later, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House.
Here A. Wilson Greene opens his sweeping new three-volume history of the Petersburg Campaign, taking readers from Grant's crossing of the James in mid-June 1864 to the fateful Battle of the Crater on July 30. Full of fresh insights drawn from military, political, and social history, A Campaign of Giants is destined to be the definitive account of the campaign. With new perspectives on operational and tactical choices by commanders, the experiences of common soldiers and civilians, and the significant role of the United States Colored Troops in the fighting, this book offers essential reading for all those interested in the history of the Civil War.