Spotsylvania Court House

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Following the disappointment at the Wilderness, Grant continued his push toward Richmond. The opposing armies engaged near Spotsylvania Court House, about 10 miles from the confederate capital. This battle marked the first instance of extended trench warfare in modern military history.

The most notable engagement was a Union assault on May 12-13 against the entrenched Confederate center with fierce hand-to-hand fighting in the “Bloody Angle.” The Union forces nearly split the Confederate army, which managed to hold during 20 hours of sustained combat.

Later, on May 19, a Confederate effort to turn the Union flank at Harris Farm was turned back with heavy losses.

There was no clear victor at Spotsylvania. Union losses were very roughly estimated at 18,000 and Confederate losses at 12,000. Grant continued toward Richmond.

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Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864 by Noah Andre Trudeau.
In this authoritative chronicle of the great 1864 Overland Campaign in Virginia, Noah Andre Trudeau vividly re-creates the brutal forty days that mark...