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

Noah Andre Trudeau, Author Little Brown and Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-316-85326-2
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. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-449-90562-3
Paperback - 354 pages - 978-0-8071-2644-8
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