Monday, October 25, 2010

Grant, The Wilderness, and Cold Harbor

Lincoln knew things were going well for the Union, but he still needed a general.

Then he realized, Ulysses S. Grant.

In March of 1864, the new commanding general of the Army of the Potomac was Grant.

Grant was all about constant pressure, instead of periods of rest between battles, Grant preferred to keep on truckin'.

Unfortunately, these next meetings between the Union and Confederate soldiers would be pretty brutal.

Grant and his men crossed into Virginia into an area known as The Wilderness. And in the Wilderness is where General Lee decided to attack.

Most of this battle was close range fighting. Hand to hand combat and shots being fired set the wilderness on fire.

There were wounded soldiers trapped in the burning forest, many begged to be shot so they would not burn to death.

18,000 casualties for the Union and 10,000 for the Confederates. This was not good.

But Grant decided to press on and the Battle of Cold Harbor began.

Grant decided a frontal assault against the Confederates would be the game plan, unfortunately, this game plan was terrible.

Things were so bad that soldiers were sewing their names into their clothing so they could be identified if they died. So far, all the dead were pretty much unrecognizable.

General Lee defeated Grant and in 12 days of fighting the Union had lost 13,000 men. Cold Harbor was bad news bears, and Grant knew it.

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