Threads From The National Tapestry: Stories From The American Civil War

Threads From The National Tapestry: Stories From The American Civil War header image 1

16 - Hell On Earth: The Battle Of The Wilderness

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About this episode: 

Since the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863, the two, George Gordon Meade and Robert E. Lee, and their respective armies had shadowboxed down in Central Virginia. The sparring continued throughout the fall and winter, but in spring, there was a new federal presence, and he meant business. General-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant now wore a third star; the first true lieutenant general since George Washington, and rather than be mired in political intrigue in the capital, he chose to travel with Meade's Army of the Potomac. Before, Union generals ordered the Army of the Potomac forward, gave battle, retreated, and then sat on its haunches for months at a time before the next offensive. That would not be the case come spring of 1864. U.S. Grant was going to give battle and do so in relentless fashion, and so in May, he launched a campaign unlike anything the Federal Army of the Potomac had ever experienced before. This is the story of the first battle in what would be called "The Overland Campaign." This is the story of the first encounter between Lee and Grant.
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