Between the end of May and the beginning of August 1864, Lt. Gen.
Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee oversaw the transition
between the Overland campaign—a remarkable saga of
maneuvering and brutal combat—and what became a grueling
siege of Petersburg that many months later compelled Confederates
to abandon Richmond. Although many historians have marked Grant's
crossing of the James River on June 12–15 as the close of the
Overland campaign, this volume interprets the fighting from Cold
Harbor on June 1–3 through the battle of the Crater on July
30 as the last phase of an operation that could have ended without
a prolonged siege. The contributors assess the campaign from a
variety of perspectives, examining strategy and tactics, the
performances of key commanders on each side, the centrality of
field fortifications, political repercussions in the United States
and the Confederacy, the experiences of civilians caught in the
path of the armies, and how the famous battle of the Crater has
resonated in historical memory. As a group, the essays highlight
the important connections between the home front and the
battlefield, showing some of the ways in which military and
nonmilitary affairs played off and influenced one another.
Contributors include Keith S. Bohannon, Stephen Cushman, M. Keith
Harris, Robert E. L. Krick, Kevin M. Levin, Kathryn Shively Meier,
Gordon C. Rhea, and Joan Waugh.