Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864

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9780807126448: Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864

"Nobody has brought together in one volume so many eyewitness accounts from both sides."-Civil War History Winner of the Fletcher Pratt Award In this authoritative chronicle of the great 1864 Overland Campaign in Virginia, Noah Andre Trudeau vividly re-creates the brutal forty days that marked the beginning of the end of the Civil War. In riveting detail Trudeau traces the carnage from the initial battles in Virginia's Wilderness to the gruesome hand-to-hand combat at Spotsylvania's "Bloody Angle," to the ingenious trap laid by Lee at the North Anna River, to the killing ground of Cold Harbor. Through fascinating eyewitness accounts, he relates the human stories behind this epic saga. Common soldiers struggle to find the words to describe the agony of their comrades, incredible tales of individual valor, their own mortality. Also recounting their experiences are the women who nursed these soldiers and black troops who were getting their first taste of battle. The raw vitality of battle sketches by Edwin Forbes and Alfred R. Waud complement the words of the participants. PRAISE FOR THE BOOK "Bloody Roads Southis a powerful and eloquent narrative of the costliest, most violent campaign of the Civil War. Grant vs. Lee in the Wilderness, at Spotsylvania, and at Cold Harbor has never been told better."-Stephen W. Sears, author of The Landscape Turned Red Noah Andre Trudeau is an executive producer for cultural programs at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Out of the Storm: The End of the Civil War, April-June 1865 and The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Ulysses Grant's relentless hammering tactics prevented Robert E. Lee from regaining the strategic initiative in 1864, although the Southern general's defensive operations during May-June of that year are regarded by many as his greatest military accomplishment. It was during this campaign that Grant came to be called "The Butcher" because of the horrendous casualties he was willing to accept as he ordered assault after assault. He did not retreat after suffering tactical defeats in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse and Cold Harbor, but continued to push his troops ever closer to the rebel capital of Richmond. Not a formal campaign study, this is a dramatic account told through the eyes of soldiers, civilians and government leaders. One of the elements historian Trudeau dramatizes is the shifting emotional reaction of President Lincoln as he worried whether Grant would prove as faint-hearted as other generals who had faced Lee in the field. When word was brought from Grant that "There is no turning back," the president literally kissed the messenger, for this was probably the most important of several historic turning-points in the four-year Civil War. Illustrations.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This popularly written account of the initial months of Grant's decisive Virginia campaign against Lee will find a ready audience among Civil War buffs. Done in the episodic, you-are-there style of such writers as Cornelius Ryan, it rests mainly on a host of published first-hand accounts and regimental histories. By 1864 the war in the East had become a test of wills and endurance. How the ordinary soldiers and civilians measured up to that test through 40 days of horrific carnage is the book's main focus. Although devoid of sweeping conclusions and with few notes, the book's presentation of the campaign's strategy and the tactics of individual battles is clear. Excellent for the general reader and libraries of any size.
- Thomas E. Schott, Office of History, Engineering Installation Div., Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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