Lee's Army during the Overland Campaign
A Numerical Study
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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The Overland Campaign of 1864 ranks as one of the most crucial—and least studied—campaigns of the American Civil War. In the summer of 1863, the Union Army of the Potomac repulsed Gen. Robert E. Lee’s foray into Penn-sylvania and drove his Army of Northern Virginia back to the Old Dominion. But Union commanders frittered away their Gettysburg victory, permitting ...
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People have asked about the original interest and impetus for doing this study. The seeds were apparently planted during my childhood. My late mother, Mary Wendell Young, always had an avid interest in history, and perhaps I inherited this avocation from her. I recall finding and reading books on Robert E. Lee and other Civil War generals in the local elementary- ...
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On May 4, 1864, the Federal Army of the Potomac began crossing the Rapidan River in north-central Virginia and moving toward its rival, the Confed-erate Army of Northern Virginia. This was the inevitable meeting of the two leading commanders of the Civil War, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee. The 1864–65 battles in Virginia between the armies of ...
Part OneLee’s Army: An Overview
chapter 1The Initial Strength ofthe Army of Northern Virginia
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The typical historical account of the campaigns of 1864 and 1865 in Virginia has the forces of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia getting the most out of limited, if not meager, manpower, armaments, commissary supplies, and other resources before finally being overcome by Grant’s numerically supe-rior and significantly better equipped and supplied Army of the Potomac. ...
chapter 2Reinforcements to theArmy of Northern Virginia duringthe Overland Campaign
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The Army of Northern Virginia was considerably reinforced with many new units during the Overland Campaign. Many of these were drawn from Gen-eral Beauregard’s forces facing Butler’s Army of the James. Some originally belonged to Lee’s army, others were drawn from the military departments and commands along the Atlantic Seaboard. Breckinridge’s Division was tempo-...
chapter 3Casualties during the Overland Campaign
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Any historian or researcher seriously studying the Civil War will quickly discover that there are few if any reliable records regarding casualties for all of the Confederate armies in the latter part of the war (after 1863). This situ-ation equally applies to the Army of Northern Virginia during the Overland Campaign. The Official Records contain reports with casualties for only five ...
Part TwoUnit Discussions,with Casualty Breakdowns
The figures for the battle casualties in Tables 7–15 were compiled from indi-vidual brigade and battalion totals. These unit totals are presented in a similar form in fifty-nine individual tables in Appendix A using the same format as described above, except for one change. A second, lesser figure is provided in parentheses for the “Campaign Total” loss of the brigade as well as for many ...
chapter 4First Corps
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Kershaw’s Division was composed of the brigades of Humphreys, Henagan, Wofford, and Bryan. This organization played a prominent role in most of the earlier campaigns and major battles of the Army of Northern Virginia and, at this stage of the war, was one of its best divisions. The division, in particular, performed competently at the Battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellors ville, and ...
chapter 5Second Corps
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The core of Johnson’s Division was originally Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jack-son’s command in 1862. This division performed with distinction in the Shenandoah Valley during the spring of 1862. Since that period of the war, it had, under a number of leaders, performed reliably but with less notoriety. With the assignment of Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson in May 1863, the divi-...
chapter 6Third Corps
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This division was formed after the Battle of Chancellorsville by combining Brockenbrough’s and Archer’s Brigades of Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill’s Light Di-vision with the brigades of Pettigrew and Davis. The latter two units were new only to the Army of Northern Virginia, having previously served in southeastern Virginia and North Carolina. At Gettysburg, Maj. Gen. Henry ...
chapter 7Cavalry Corps
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The cavalry of Maj. Gen. James E. B. “Jeb” Stuart was historically regarded as the elite arm of the Army of Northern Virginia. During the first two years of the war, Stuart’s cavalry literally rode circles around opposing Union armies and bested the Federal cavalry in almost every engagement. This level of superiority began to change in 1863. In the spring of that year, Maj. Gen. ...
chapter 8Separate Commands
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This division was formed at Bermuda Hundred in late May 1864 from the brigades of Clingman, Colquitt, Hagood, and Martin. These units were part of Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard’s forces opposing Butler’s Army of the James outside Richmond. During the first part of the war, these brigades mostly served at various points along the Atlantic Seaboard. Due to limited combat ...
Summary and Conclusions
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Several conclusions can be drawn from studying the strengths and casualties of the Army of Northern Virginia during the Overland Campaign. First, it is apparent that Lee’s army was stronger than has previously been believed. Its strength at the start of the campaign was about 66,000 men, or 4,000 higher than the traditional figure of 62,000. If one includes the units temporarily ...
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Page Count: 400
Publication Year: 2013