War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Introduction

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Intro
Richmond, Petersburg Intro



Vol. 40 Introduction - Serial 82

Grant's goal was Richmond, but he knew the strength of its defenses. Rather than waste lives in replays of Cold Harbor, he decided to outflank Richmond, by attacking Petersburg, the rail junction that supplied Richmond. He could supply himself by sea down the Virginia rivers, and the idea was excellent; only the execution failed. The troops involved moved too slowly (perhaps the long-term influence of having been under Ben Butler) and small but well-led Confederate forces held on just long enough. The South had saved the day, but was trapped in a siege where numbers and supplies were against them.
Grant was not going to simply sit still in front of the Confederates; he tried to use his superior numbers and outflank the defenses, and also tried to break through - with a mine. The Battle of the Crater was the result, another brilliant opportunity thrown away by clumsy execution.

This volume has the rest of the correspondence about the Petersburg-Richmond campaign.



Intro
Richmond, Petersburg Intro