restricted access Grant’s Disengagement from Cold Harbor: June 12–13, 1864

Elements of the Army of the Potomac disengaged from Lee at Cold Harbor to cross the James River and approach Petersburg. Gordon C. Rhea's essay takes a fresh, and somewhat revisionist, look at Grant's celebrated movement. Describing the withdrawal from Cold Harbor as well planned and executed, Rhea nonetheless believes many historians have praised it too fulsomely. Logistical elements of the movement could gone been better, and Grant should have made the initial effort against Petersburg with more than two corps and provided better overall leadership-either his or George G. Meade's--when fighting began on June 15. Because of lapses at the moment of truth, the striking accomplishment of crossing the James before Lee knew what was happening achieved only meager results.


Subject Headings

  • Overland Campaign, Va., 1864.
  • Cold Harbor, Battle of, Va., 1864.
  • Petersburg Crater, Battle of, Va., 1864.
  • Petersburg (Va.) -- History -- Siege, 1864-1865.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns.
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