Author Archives: Daniel Davis

Conference at Charlestown

The fall of Atlanta in early September, 1864 sent shockwaves through the Northern states. Sitting at his headquarters at City Point on the James River outside Petersburg, Virginia, Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, hoped that his subordinate in the Shenandoah Valley, Maj. Gen. … Continue reading

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Shenandoah Subordinates: Introduction to a Series

Part one in a series. The decision to place Maj. Gen. Philip Henry Sheridan in command of the Army of the Shenandoah in August, 1864 came as a surprise to many in the North. Sheridan had never before directed an … Continue reading

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…and the Armies Danced: Sheridan and Early in the Valley, August-September 1864

Four days after taking command of the Army of the Shenandoah, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan led his new command out of Harper’s Ferry and headed south. His hope was to force Lieut. Gen. Jubal Early’s Confederates out of the lower … Continue reading

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Little Phil Takes Command

At a simple rail stop outside Frederick, Maryland the two commanders shook hands as the train prepared to depart. After a brief meeting, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, the General-in-Chief of the United States Armies, handed written orders to his … Continue reading

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The Battle of Trevilian’s Station

Having been fought to a standstill in front of Robert E. Lee’s lines at Cold Harbor in early June, 1864, Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant decided to swing past Lee’s right flank, cross the James River and assail the rail … Continue reading

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“The Weather Was Intensely Hot”: Cold Harbor After the Fighting

After the Union attacks had subsided on June 3, 1864, the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac stared at each other across the open space that separated them. Men in each army strove to improve their … Continue reading

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A Letter from the Front

On June 4, 1864, Brig. Gen. John Gibbon, a division commander in the II Corps of the Army of the Potomac, wrote home of the previous day’s assault on the Confederate lines at Cold Harbor.

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U.S. Grant and the Shadow of Cold Harbor

At 4:30 a.m. on the morning of June 3, 1864, the II, VI and XVIII Corps commenced their assault on the Confederate line at Cold Harbor. One New Yorker recalled “as soon as the skirmishers were engaged, our artillery opened … Continue reading

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June 2 at Cold Harbor

The initial reports coming back to the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac on the night of June 1 were encouraging: the Federals had carried the first line of Confederate works. At the same time, reinforcements were needed on the … Continue reading

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The Union Assault at Cold Harbor June 1, 1864

All through the night of May 31 and into June 1, 1864, Horatio Wright’s VI Corps trudged along the dusty and choked Virginia byroads. They had been pulled from the Union right flank and ordered to march to reinforce and relieve … Continue reading

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