The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865

Noah Andre Trudeau, Author Little Brown and Company $22.95 (514p) ISBN 978-0-316-85327-9
A sequel to Bloody Roads South (which covered the Overland Campaign of May-June 1864), this follows the fighting in Virginia to early April 1865, shortly before Lee's surrender at Appomattox. The nine-month Petersburg campaign was, in the author's view, the South's Gethsemane (``the place where its moral character and its belief in its own righteous cause faced their ultimate testing''). In masterly fashion Trudeau tracks the tactical struggle as Gen. Ulysses S. Grant seeks weak spots in Gen. Robert E. Lee's lines while Lee, forced to spread his smaller army ever more thinly, contests Grant's flanking movements in a series of hard-fought battles. Trudeau also provides vivid glimpses of civilian life inside besieged Petersburg and describes President Lincoln's visits to Grant's headquarters during the siege. The campaign reached its climax with Gen. Philip Sheridan's victory at Five Forks, followed by an assault on the Confederate lines which broke Lee's resistance. This oft-ignored major campaign of the Civil War receives expert examination here. Illustrations. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 514 pages - 978-0-8071-1861-0
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