ECW Series: “Hurricane from the Heavens” by Daniel Davis and Phillip Greenwalt

HurricaneHurricane from the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor, May 26-June 5, 1864
by Daniel T. Davis and Phillip S. Greenwalt

Savas BeatieSpring 2014
192 pp.; 12 maps
ISBN: 978-1-61121-187-0
click here to order

*     *     *

“Lee’s army is really whipped,” Federal commander Ulysses S. Grant believed.

May 1864 had witnessed near-constant combat between his Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Grant, unlike his predecessors, had not relented in his pounding of the Confederates. The armies clashed in the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania Courthouse and along the North Anna River. Whenever combat failed to break the Confederates, Grant resorted to maneuver. “I propose to fight it out along this line if it takes all summer,” Grant vowed—and it had.

Casualties mounted on both sides—but Grant kept coming. Although the great, decisive assault had eluded him, he continued to punish Lee’s army. The blows his army landed were nothing like the Confederates had experienced before. The constant marching and fighting had reduced Robert E. Lee’s once-vaunted army into a bedraggled husk of its former glory.

In Grant’s mind, he had worn his foes down and now prepared to deliver the deathblow.

Turning Lee’s flank once more, he hoped to fight the final, decisive battle of the war in the area bordering the Pamunkey and Chickahominy rivers, less than fifteen miles from the outskirts of the Confederate capital of Richmond. “I may be mistaken, but I feel that our success over Lee’s army is already assured,” Grant confided to Washington.

The stakes had grown enormous. Grant’s staggering casualty lists had driven Northern morale to his lowest point of the war. Would Lee’s men hold on to defend their besieged capital—and, in doing so, prolong the war until Northern will collapsed entirely? Or would another round of hard fighting finally be enough to crush Lee’s army? Could Grant push through and end the war?

Grant would find his answers around a small Virginia crossroads called Cold Harbor—and he would always regret the results.

Hurricane from the Heavens also includes:

  • Appendix A: The Road to Cold Harbor: The Overland Campaign in Context by Shawn Woodford
  • Appendix B: The Battles of the Cold Harbors by Christian E. Fearer
  • Appendix C: The Battle at North Anna River by Donald C. Pfanz
  • Appendix D: Cold Harbor in Memory by Chris Mackowski and Phillip S. Greenwalt
  • Appendix E: “On to Richmond!” by Phillip S. Greenwalt and Chris Mackowski
  • Order of Battle for Cold Harbor

One Response to ECW Series: “Hurricane from the Heavens” by Daniel Davis and Phillip Greenwalt

  1. Steve Worsham says:

    Phillip, really enjoyed your talk at the Lincoln Davis Civil War Roundtable this evening. Great incite, comfortable and informative presentation. Looking forward to reading Hurricane From the Heavens. My last name is Worsham and my family’s roots come from the Bermuda Hundred area near Richmond.. My great great grandfather was born there, but ended up moving to IL and serving in the IL 119th, while his brother who remained in VA served in the VA 23 (I think, if I remember correctly). One of his cousins, John Worsham, was in Jackson’s army and wrote, “One of Jackson’s Foot Cavalry. Enjoy Florida.

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