Civil War Wilderness

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Fought between May 5 and 7 1864 the civil war Wilderness campaign was a battle between Lt. Gen. Ulysses. S. Grant ‘s Overland Campaign forces comprising some 101,000 men  against Gen. Robert. E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Grant and Lee’s armies suffered heavy losses in both men and equipment, a bloody war of attrition attempting to push forward Grant to the capital of the confederate Richmond Virginia.

Tactically inclusive Grant eventually broke of his attack and continued his campaign towards Richmond Virginia.

Civil war wilderness battle a place Called Spotsylvania and expanse of thick scrub and timberland between Spotsylvania And Orange County Virginia. Realising that Grant was massing his armies in this region lee moved his forces to intercept. The area suited Lee as he had a smaller army some 61,000 men and fewer artillery pieces of lesser quality. They Confederate had fought a number  of  smaller battle in this region in 1861 against including the battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863.

Moving Quickly Lee attacked Grants army of the Potomac, while still waiting for he forces to arrive because the wilderness suited lee’s army they fought the Union army to a standstill,   by night however Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock  and the union II corp. had regained much of the grant taken by lee’s army earlier that day. Finally Lt. Gen Longstreet Arrived with Fresh Confederate troop attacking handcocks troops who had been fighting for 6 long hours and were tired and disorganised, Beating them back, Handcock  retreated . the situation was now reversed The confederate army had push The union army several miles back, unfortunately Longstreet did not have sufficient forces to continue his attack in the ensuing days. He himself was wounded by friendly fire not returning to his men for several months.

As the battle was winding down the Confederate army made a final assault under the command of Maj. Gen. John. B. Gordon. The attack was  the right flank of the union army taking over 1.00 prisoners of war, as a cruel fate of natural a brush fire broke out, the screams of many wound soldier on both side whom were left on the battle field could be heard thou the night, as they were burned alive.

Grant order his army of the Potomac to withdraw from the battlefield on May 8th, a few days later the armies again clashed at the battle of Spotsylvania courthouse some ten miles away, although still inconclusive in its  outcome, Grant’s  Northern army did not stop it’s drive southward.

The Civil War Wilderness battle did not stop Grants Army of the Potomac in its drive south, although it did suffer heavy casualties, Lee’s army also suffered heavily from this battle. A tactical victory for the Confederate State in that The Union did retreat from the battlefield, the act of a defeated army, Grant also lost more troops and equipment than Lee, and Grant could draw upon a larger depth of reserve that Lee. Lee’s forces struggle to recover from this and many other battles. Grants plan was to wage a war of attrition upon lee’s southern army which would eventually end  in its collapse and surrender.




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