Command Conflicts in Grant’s Overland Campaign

Ambition and Animosity in the Army of the Potomac


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SKU: 9780786468171 Categories: ,

About the Book

This book follows the men of the 5th Corps and the Army of the Potomac through the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor, with the army condemned to moving blindly through enemy territory without the benefit of cavalry scouting or screening. It considers the lost opportunities of June 1864, when Grant’s masterly movement of the Army of the Potomac across the James to confront the enemy at Petersburg should have ended in victory and the fall of Richmond.
Bungling and complacency doomed the attacks on Petersburg’s fortifications, and instead of victory, the battered Federals faced a drawn-out siege, and another 10 months of war. Finally, the author considers what happened to a number of the prominent Federal participants in the Overland Campaign during the last year of the war and after. Many of those who lied and cheated their way to the top became government leaders and the authors of policy for years to come.

About the Author(s)

Diane Monroe Smith is the author of several books about the Civil War. She lives in Holden, Maine. Visit her website at

Bibliographic Details

Diane Monroe Smith
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: 40 photos, 17 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6817-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0095-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
One. Grant’s Rise to Power 5
Two. Grant the Hero: Forts Henry and Donelson—and Then There Was Shiloh 19
Three. It Takes Buell and Bragg to Make Grant Look Good 54
Four. The Army of the Potomac Carries Old Baggage into the Wilderness 90
Five. The Wilderness 103
Six. On to Spotsylvania 117
Seven. Spotsylvania: Laurel Hill, Again and Again 128
Eight. The 5th Corps at the North Anna and the Totopotomoy 154
Nine. Cold Harbor—Another Tragic Muddle 167
Ten. Petersburg 192
Appendix: Federal Overland Campaign Commanders After the War 211
Chapter Notes 225
Bibliography 241
Index 245

Book Reviews & Awards

“Fascinating…recommended”—Civil War News.