Grant's 1864 Campaign in Virginia
Master's thesis Aug 1987-Jun 1988
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
This study is an historical analysis of General Ulysses S. Grants 1864 Campaign in Virginia. It begins with Grants appointment as Lieutenant General and General in Chief of all the Union armies on 9 March 1864, and concludes with the defeat of the flanking movement against the Weldon Railroad below Petersburg on 22 June 1864. Grants strategy and preparations for the spring campaign, and the subsequent operations of the Army of the Potomac are described and analyzed. Among the conclusions which can be drawn from this study was that despite the extraordinarily difficult military and geographical challenges of conducting large scale offensive operations in Tidewater Virginia during the Civil War, Grant came close to achieving a decisive strategic victory that could have ended the war in the summer of 1864. He failed to establish a fully effective system of command relationships. He assigned Richmond rather than Petersburg as the objective for Butlers Army of the James. He fought in the Wilderness under circumstances unfavorable to his army. He sent Sheridans entire Cavalry Corps on a deep raid and away from the critical fighting at Spotsylvania. He failed to exploit the potential of Hancocks initial flanking movement at Spotsylvania. He pulled the XVIII Corps away from the Army of the James at a critical time to throw it against Confederate entrenchments at Cold Harbor. Keywords Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant, Command relationships, Theater strategy, Theses.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics