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 Pennsylvania and drove his Army of Northern Virginia back to the Old Dominion. ...
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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. ...
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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 Confederate 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. ...
Part One: Lee’s Army: An Overview
Chapter 1. The Initial Strength of the 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 superior and significantly better equipped and supplied Army of the Potomac. ...
Chapter 2. Reinforcements to the Army of Northern Virginia during the 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 General 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. ...
Chapter 3. Casualties 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 situation equally applies to the Army of Northern Virginia during the Overland Campaign. ...
Part Two: Unit Discussions, with Casualty Breakdowns
The figures for the battle casualties in Tables 7–15 were compiled from individual 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. ...
Chapter 4. First 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. ...
Chapter 5. Second Corps
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The core of Johnson’s Division was originally Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’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. ...
Chapter 6. Third 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 Division 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. ...
Chapter 7. Cavalry 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. ...
Chapter 8. Separate 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. ...
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. ...
Appendix A: Tables
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Appendix B: Maps
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Appendix C: Army of Northern Virginia Order of Battle during the Overland Campaign
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Page Count: 400
Publication Year: 2013