Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

Thomas' Legion
American Civil War HOMEPAGE
American Civil War
Causes of the Civil War : What Caused the Civil War
Organization of Union and Confederate Armies: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery
Civil War Navy: Union Navy and Confederate Navy
American Civil War: The Soldier's Life
Civil War Turning Points
American Civil War: Casualties, Battles and Battlefields
Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
Civil War Generals
American Civil War Desertion and Deserters: Union and Confederate
Civil War Prisoner of War: Union and Confederate Prison History
Civil War Reconstruction Era and Aftermath
American Civil War Genealogy and Research
Civil War
American Civil War Pictures - Photographs
African Americans and American Civil War History
American Civil War Store
American Civil War Polls
North Carolina Civil War History
North Carolina American Civil War Statistics, Battles, History
North Carolina Civil War History and Battles
North Carolina Civil War Regiments and Battles
North Carolina Coast: American Civil War
Western North Carolina and the American Civil War
Western North Carolina: Civil War Troops, Regiments, Units
North Carolina: American Civil War Photos
Cherokee Chief William Holland Thomas
Cherokee Indian Heritage, History, Culture, Customs, Ceremonies, and Religion
Cherokee Indians: American Civil War
History of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation
Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and Beliefs
Researching your Cherokee Heritage
Civil War Diary, Memoirs, Letters, and Newspapers

Union Army Order of Battle
Army of the Potomac

LTG Ulysses S. Grant, commanding

IX Corps

MG Ambrose Burnside*

  • 8th United States



Regiments and Others

First Division
     BG Thomas G. Stevenson
     Col Daniel Leasure
     BG Thomas L. Crittenden

1st Brigade

   Ltc Stephen M. Weld, Jr.

  • 35th Massachusetts
  • 56th Massachusetts
  • 57th Massachusetts
  • 59th Massachusetts
  • 4th United States
  • 10th United States

2nd Brigade

   Col Daniel Leasure

  • 3rd Maryland
  • 21st Massachusetts
  • 100th Pennsylvania


  • 2nd Maine Battery
  • 14th Massachusetts Battery

Second Division
     BG Robert B. Potter

1st Brigade

   Col Zenas Bliss (injured May 11)
   Col John I. Curtin

  • 36th Massachusetts
  • 58th Massachusetts
  • 51st New York
  • 45th Pennsylvania
  • 48th Pennsylvania
  • 7th Rhode Island

2nd Brigade

   Col Simon Goodell Griffin

  • 31tst Maine
  • 32nd Maine
  • 6th New Hampshire
  • 9th New Hampshire
  • 11th New Hampshire
  • 17th Vermont


  • 11th Massachusetts Battery
  • 19th New York Battery

Third Division
     BG Oralndo B. Wilcox

1st Brigade

   Col John F. Hartranft

  • 2nd Michigan
  • 8th Michigan
  • 17th Michigan
  • 27th Michigan
  • 109th New York
  • 51st Pennsylvania

2nd Brigade

   Col Benjamin C. Christ (disabled May 11)
   Col William Humphrey

  • 1st Michigan Sharpshooters
  • 20th Michigan
  • 79th New York
  • 60th Ohio
  • 50th Pennsylvania


  • Battery G, 7th Maine Light
  • 34th New York Battery

Fourth Division
     BG Edward Ferrero

1st Brigade

   Col Joshua K. Sigfried

  • 27th U.S. Colored Troops
  • 30th U.S. Colored Troops
  • 39th U.S. Colored Troops
  • 43rd U.S. Colored Troops

2nd Brigade

   Col Henry G. Thomas

  • 30th Connecticut (Colored)
  • 19th U.S. Colored Troops
  • 23rd U.S. Colored Troops


  • Battery D, Pennsylvania Independent Light
  • 3rd Vermont Battery


  • 3rd New Jersey
  • 22nd New York
  • 2nd Ohio
  • 13th Pennsylvania


Artillery Reserve

   Cpt John Edwards, Jr.

  • 27th New York Battery
  • Battery D, 1st Rhode Island Light
  • Battery H, 1st Rhode Island Light
  • Battery E, 2nd United States
  • Battery G, 2nd United States
  • Batteries L and M, 3rd United States


Provisional Brigade

   Col Elisha G. Marshall

  • 14th New York Heavy Artillery
  • 24th New York Cavalry Dismounted
  • 2nd Pennsylvania Provisional Heavy Artillery


Army of the Potomac

MG George G. Meade

Headquarters units

Provost Guard
BG Marsena R. Patrick

  • 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, Companies C and D
  • 20th New York State Militia (80th NY Volunteers)
  • 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry
  • 68th Pennsylvania
  • 114th Pennsylvania

BG Henry J. Hunt

Reserve Artillery
Col Henry S. Burton
Disbanded and distributed among the infantry corps May 16.


Regiments and batteries

1st Brigade

   Col J. Howard Kitching

  • 6th New York Heavy Artillery
  • 15th New York Heavy Artillery

2nd Brigade

   Maj John A. Tompkins

  • Battery E, 5th Maine
  • Battery A, 1st New Jersey Light
  • Battery B, 1st New Jersey Light
  • 5th New York Battery
  • 12th New York Battery
  • Battery B, 1st New York Light

3rd Brigade

   Maj Robert H. Fitzhugh

  • 9th Massachusetts Battery
  • 11th New York Battery
  • 15th New York Battery
  • Battery C, 1st New York Light
  • Battery H, 1st Ohio Light
  • Battery E, 5th United States

Volunteer Engineer Brigade
BG Henry W. Benham

  • 50th New York Engineers
  • Battalion U.S. Engineers

II Corps

MG Winfield S. Hancock

  • 1st Vermont Cavalry, Company M



Regiments and Others

First Division
     BG Francis G. Barlow

1st Brigade

   Col Nelson A. Miles

  • 26th Michigan
  • 61st New York
  • 81st Pennsylvania
  • 140th Pennsylvania
  • 183rd Pennsylvania

2nd Brigade (Irish Brigade)

   Col Thomas A. Smyth (transferred to command of 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division May 17th)
   Col Richard Byrnes

  • 28th Massachusetts
  • 63rd New York
  • 69th New York
  • 88th New York
  • 116th Pennsylvania

3rd Brigade

   Col Paul Frank (relieved for drunkenness)
   Col Hiram R. Brown (c)
   Col Clinton D. MacDougall

  • 39th New York
  • 52nd New York
  • 57th New York
  • 111th New York
  • 125th New York
  • 126th New York

4th Brigade

   Col John R. Brooke

  • 2nd Delaware
  • 64th New York
  • 66th New York
  • 53rd Pennsylvania
  • 145th Pennsylvania
  • 148th Pennsylvania

Second Division
     BG John Gibbon

  • 2nd Company Minnesota Sharpshooters

1st Brigade

   BG Alexander S. Webb (w)
   Col H. Boyd McKeen

  • 19th Maine
  • 1st Company Sharpshooters
  • 15th Massachusetts
  • 19th Massachusetts
  • 20th Massachusetts
  • 7th Michigan
  • 42nd New York
  • 59th New York
  • 82nd New York
  • 36th Wisconsin

2nd Brigade (Philadelphia Brigade)

   BG Joshua T. Owen

  • 152nd New York
  • 69th Pennsylvania
  • 71st Pennsylvania
  • 72nd Pennsylvania
  • 106th Pennsylvania

3rd Brigade (Gibraltar Brigade)

   Col Samuel S. Carroll (w)
   Col Thomas A. Smyth

  • 14th Connecticut
  • 1st Delaware
  • 14th Indiana
  • 12th New Jersey
  • 10th New York Battalion
  • 4th Ohio
  • 8th Ohio
  • 7th West Virginia

4th Brigade (Corcoran Legion) (arrived May 17)

   Col Mathew Murphy (w)
   Col James P. McIvor

  • 155th New York
  • 164th New York
  • 170th New York
  • 182nd New York

Third Division
     BG David B. Birney

1st Brigade

   BG J. H. Hobart Ward (relieved for drunkenness)
   Col Thomas W. Egan

  • 20th Indiana
  • 3rd Maine
  • 40th New York
  • 86th New York
  • 124th New York
  • 99th Pennsylvania
  • 110th Pennsylvania
  • 141st Pennsylvania
  • 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters

2nd Brigade

   Col John S. Crocker (replaced May 18)
   Col Elijah Walker

  • 4th Maine
  • 17th Maine
  • 3rd Michigan
  • 5th Michigan
  • 93rd New York
  • 57th Pennsylvania
  • 63rd Pennsylvania
  • 105th Pennsylvania
  • 1st U.S. Sharpshooters

Fourth Division
     BG Gershom Mott
     Division incorporated into Third Division on May 13. Mott assumed command of McAllister's Brigade.

1st Brigade (3rd Brigade of Third Division)

   Col Robert McAllister

  • 1st Massachusetts
  • 16th Massachusetts
  • 5th New Jersey
  • 6th New Jersey
  • 7th New Jersey
  • 8th New Jersey
  • 11th New Jersey
  • 26th Pennsylvania
  • 115th Pennsylvania

2nd Brigade (4th Brigade of Third Division)

   Col William R. Brewster

  • 11th Massachusetts
  • 70th New York
  • 71st New York
  • 72nd New York
  • 73rd New York
  • 74th New York
  • 120th New York
  • 84th Pennsylvania

Fourth Division (Arrived May 18)

     BG Robert O. Tyler

  • 1st Maine Heavy Artillery
  • 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery
  • 2nd New York Heavy Artillery
  • 7th New York Heavy Artillery
  • 8th New York Heavy Artillery


Artillery Brigade

   Col John C. Tidball

  • 6th Battery, Maine Light
  • 10th Battery, Massachusetts Light
  • 1st Battery, New Hampshire Light
  • Battery G, 1st New York Light
  • 3rd Battalion, 4th New York Heavy
  • Battery F, 1st Pennsylvania Light
  • Battery A, 1st Rhode Island Light
  • Battery B, 1st Rhode Island Light
  • Battery K, 4th United States
  • Batteries C and I, 5th United States

Assigned from the Artillery Reserve on May 16

  • Battery B, 1st New Jersey Light
  • 11th Battery, New York Light
  • 12th Battery, New York Light


V Corps

MG Gouverneur K. Warren

  • 12th New York Battalion



Regiments and Others

First Division
     BG Charles Griffin

1st Brigade

   BG Romeyn B. Ayres

  • 140th New York
  • 146th New York
  • 91st Pennsylvania
  • 155th Pennsylvania
  • 2nd United States, Companies B, C, F, H, I, and K
  • 11th United States, Companies B, C, D, E, F, and G, 1st Battalion
  • 12th United States, Companies A, B, C, D, and G, 1st Battalion
  • 12th United States, Companies A, C, D, F, and H, 2nd Battalion
  • 14th United States, 1st Battalion
  • 17th United States, Companies A, C, D, G, and H, 1st Battalion
  • 17th United States, Companies A, B, and C, 2nd Battalion

2nd Brigade

   Col Jacob B. Sweitzer

  • 9th Massachusetts
  • 22nd Massachusetts
  • 32nd Massachusetts
  • 4th Michigan
  • 62nd Pennsylvania

3rd Brigade

   BG Joseph J. Bartlett

  • 20th Maine
  • 18th Massachusetts
  • 1st Michigan
  • 16th Michigan
  • 44th New York
  • 83rd Pennsylvania
  • 118th Pennsylvania

Second Division
     BG John C. Robinson
     Division disbanded May 9. 1st Brigade became 4th Brigade, Fourth Division, 2nd Brigade became 2nd Brigade, Third Division, and 3rd Brigade reported directly to Warren.

1st Brigade

   Col Peter Lyle

  • 16th Maine
  • 13th Massachusetts
  • 39th Massachusetts
  • 104th New York
  • 90th Pennsylvania

2nd Brigade

   Col Richard Coulter (w)
   Col James L. Bates

  • 12th Massachusetts
  • 83rd New York
  • 97th New York
  • 11th Pennsylvania
  • 88th Pennsylvania

3rd Brigade

   Col Andrew W. Denison (w)
   Col Charles E. Phelps (c)
   Col Richard N. Bowerman

  • 1st Maryland
  • 4th Maryland
  • 7th Maryland
  • 8th Maryland

Third Division
     BG Samuel W. Crawford

1st Brigade

   Col William McCandless (w)
   Col William C. Talley (c)
   Col Wellington H. Ent

  • 1st Pennsylvania Reserves
  • 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves
  • 6th Pennsylvania Reserves
  • 7th Pennsylvania Reserves
  • 11th Pennsylvania Reserves
  • 13th Pennsylvania Reserves

3rd Brigade

   Col Joseph W. Fisher

  • 5th Pennsylvania Reserves
  • 8th Pennsylvania Reserves
  • 10th Pennsylvania Reserves
  • 12th Pennsylvania Reserves

Fourth Division
     BG Lysander Cutler

1st Brigade

   Col William W. Robinson

  • 7th Indiana
  • 19th Indiana
  • 24th Michigan
  • 1st New York Battalion Sharpshooters
  • 2nd Wisconsin
  • 6th Wisconsin
  • 7th Wisconsin

2nd Brigade

   BG James C. Rice (k)
   Col Edward B. Fowler

  • 76th New York
  • 84th New York
  • 95th New York
  • 147th New York
  • 56th Pennsylvania

3rd Brigade

   Col Edward S. Bragg

  • 121st Pennsylvania
  • 142nd Pennsylvania
  • 143rd Pennsylvania
  • 149th Pennsylvania
  • 150th Pennsylvania

Heavy Artillery Brigade

  • 6th New York Heavy Artillery
  • 15th New York Heavy Artillery (1st and 3rd Battalion)
  • 4th New York Heavy Artillery (2nd Battalion)

Artillery Brigade

   Col Charles S. Wainwright

  • Battery C, 3rd Massachusetts Light
  • Battery E, 5th Massachusetts Light
  • Battery D, 1st New York Light
  • Batteries E and L, 1st New York Light
  • Battery H, 1st New York Light
  • 2nd Battalion, 4th New York Heavy
  • Battery B, 1st Pennsylvania Light
  • Battery B, 4th United States
  • Battery D, 5th United States

Assigned from the Artillery Reserve on May 16

  • 9th Battery, Massachusetts Light
  • Battery B, 1st New York Light
  • Battery C, 1st New York Light
  • 5th Battery, New York Light (sent to Washington, D.C. May 19)
  • 15th Battery, New York Light


VI Corps

MG John Sedgwick (k)
BG Horatio Wright

  • 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company A



Regiments and Others

First Division
     BG Horatio G. Wright
     BG David A. Russell

1st Brigade (First New Jersey Brigade)

   Col Henry W. Brown

  • 1st New Jersey
  • 2nd New Jersey
  • 3rd New Jersey
  • 4th New Jersey
  • 10th New Jersey
  • 15th New Jersey

2nd Brigade

   Col Emory Upton

  • 5th Maine
  • 121st New York
  • 95th Pennsylvania
  • 96th Pennsylvania
  • 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery

3rd Brigade

   BG David A. Russell
   BG Henry L. Eustis

  • 6th Maine
  • 49th Pennsylvania
  • 119th Pennsylvania
  • 5th Wisconsin

4th Brigade

   Col Nelson Cross

  • 65th New York
  • 67th New York
  • 122nd New York
  • 82nd Pennsylvania

Second Division
     BG Thomas H. Neill

1st Brigade

   BG Frank Wheaton

  • 62nd New York
  • 93rd Pennsylvania
  • 98th Pennsylvania
  • 102nd Pennsylvania
  • 139th Pennsylvania

2nd Brigade (1st Vermont Brigade)

   Col Lewis A. Grant

  • 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery
  • 2nd Vermont
  • 3rd Vermont
  • 4th Vermont
  • 5th Vermont
  • 6th Vermont

3rd Brigade

   Col David D. Bidwell

  • 7th Maine
  • 43rd New York
  • 49th New York
  • 77th New York
  • 61st Pennsylvania

4th Brigade

   BG Henry L. Eustis
   Col Oliver Edwards

  • 7th Massachusetts
  • 10th Massachusetts
  • 37th Massachusetts
  • 2nd Rhode Island

Third Division
     BG James B. Ricketts

1st Brigade

   BG William H. Morris (w)
   Col John W. Schall
   Col William S. Truex

  • 14th New Jersey
  • 106th New York
  • 151st New York
  • 87th Pennsylvania
  • 10th Vermont

2nd Brigade

   Col Benjamin F. Smith

  • 6th Maryland
  • 110th Ohio
  • 122nd Ohio
  • 126th Ohio
  • 67th Pennsylvania
  • 138th Pennsylvania

Artillery Brigade

   Col Charles H. Tompkins

  • Battery D, 4th Maine Light
  • Battery A, 1st Massachusetts
  • 1st New York Battery
  • 3rd New York Battery
  • 4th New York Battery
  • Battery C, 1st Rhode Island Light
  • Battery E, 1st Rhode Island Light
  • Battery G, 1st Rhode Island Light
  • Battery M, 5th United States

Assigned from the Artillery Reserve on May 16

  • 4th Battery, Maine Light
  • 5th Battery, Maine Light
  • Battery A, 1st New Jersey Light
  • Battery H, 1st Ohio Light
  • Battery E, 5th United States


Cavalry Corps

MG Philip H. Sheridan

  • 6th United States



Regiments and Others

First Division
     BG Wesley Merritt

1st Brigade (the Michigan Brigade)

   BG George A. Custer

  • 1st Michigan
  • 5th Michigan
  • 6th Michigan
  • 7th Michigan

2nd Brigade

   Col Thomas C. Devin

  • 4th New York
  • 6th New York
  • 9th New York
  • 17th New York

Reserve Brigade

   Col Alfred Gibbs

  • 19th New York
  • 6th Pennsylvania
  • 1st United States
  • 2nd United States
  • 5th United States

Second Division
     BG David McM. Gregg

1st Brigade

   BG Henry E. Davies, Jr.

  • 1st Massachusetts
  • 1st New Jersey
  • 6th Ohio
  • 1st Pennsylvania

2nd Brigade

   Col John Irvin Gregg

  • 1st Maine
  • 10th New York
  • 2nd Pennsylvania
  • 4th Pennsylvania
  • 8th Pennsylvania
  • 16th Pennsylvania

Third Division
     BG James H. Wilson

1st Brigade

   Col John B. McIntosh

  • 1st Connecticut
  • 2nd New York
  • 5th New York
  • 18th Pennsylvania

2nd Brigade

   Col George H. Chapman

  • 3rd Indiana
  • 8th New York
  • 1st Vermont

Horse Artillery

1st Brigade

   Cpt James M. Robertson

  • 6th New York Battery
  • Batteries B and L, 2nd United States
  • Battery D, 2nd United States
  • Battery M, 2nd United States
  • Battery A, 4th United States
  • Batteries C and E, 4th United States

2nd Brigade

   Cpt Dunbar R. Ransom

  • Batteries E and G, 1st United States
  • Batteries H and I, 1st United States
  • Battery K, 1st United States
  • Battery A, 2nd United States

* The Army of the Potomac and the IX Corps were treated as separate commands at the start of the Overland Campaign. This was done since Burnside was senior in rank to Meade and would therefore assume command of the army if the IX Corps was assigned to it. Grant wished to retain Meade in command of the army, so he had both men report directly to himself. This created troubles in coordinating attacks and movements between the two commands, so on May 24, 1864, Burnside agreed to be placed under the command of Meade.

Military Rank
Gen = General
LTG = Lieutenant General
MG = Major General
BG = Brigadier General
Col = Colonel
Ltc = Lieutenant Colonel
Maj = Major
Cpt = Captain
Lt = Lieutenant
w = wounded
mw = mortally wounded
k = killed
c = capture

(Related reading below.)

References: Rhea, Gordon C. The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern May 7-12, 1864. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997; ----- To The North Anna River: Grant and Lee May 13-25, 1864. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

Recommended Reading: The Battles For Spotsylvania Court House And The Road To Yellow Tavern, May 7-12, 1864. Description: The second volume in Gordon C. Rhea's peerless five-book series on the Civil War's 1864 Overland Campaign abounds with Rhea's signature detail, innovative analysis, and riveting prose. Here Rhea examines the maneuvers and battles from May 7, 1864, when Grant left the Wilderness, through May 12, when his attempt to break Lee's line by frontal assault reached a chilling climax at what is now called the Bloody Angle. Drawing exhaustively upon previously untapped materials, Rhea challenges conventional wisdom about this violent clash of titans to construct the ultimate account of Grant and Lee at Spotsylvania. Continued below.

About the Author: Gordon C. Rhea is also the author of The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5–6, 1864; To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13–25, 1864, winner of the Fletcher Pratt Literary Award; Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26–June 3, 1864, winner of the Austin Civil War Round Table’s Laney Prize, and Carrying the Flag: The Story of Private Charles Whilden, the Confederacy’s Most Unlikely Hero. He lives in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, with his wife and two sons.

Site search Web search

Recommended Reading: To the North Anna River: Grant And Lee, May 13-25, 1864 (Jules and Frances Landry Award Series). Description: With To the North Anna River, the third book in his outstanding five-book series, Gordon C. Rhea continues his spectacular narrative of the initial campaign between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in the spring of 1864. May 13 through 25, a phase oddly ignored by historians, was critical in the clash between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia. During those thirteen days—an interlude bracketed by horrific battles that riveted the public’s attention—a game of guile and endurance between Grant and Lee escalated to a suspenseful draw on Virginia’s North Anna River. Continued below... 

From the bloodstained fields of the Mule Shoe to the North Anna River, with Meadow Bridge, Myers Hill, Harris Farm, Jericho Mills, Ox Ford, and Doswell Farm in between, grueling night marches, desperate attacks, and thundering cavalry charges became the norm for both Grant’s and Lee’s men. But the real story of May 13–25 lay in the two generals’ efforts to outfox each other, and Rhea charts their every step and misstep. Realizing that his bludgeoning tactics at the Bloody Angle were ineffective, Grant resorted to a fast-paced assault on Lee’s vulnerable points. Lee, outnumbered two to one, abandoned the offensive and concentrated on anticipating Grant’s maneuvers and shifting quickly enough to repel them. It was an amazingly equal match of wits that produced a gripping, high-stakes bout of warfare—a test, ultimately, of improvisation for Lee and of perseverance for Grant.


Recommended Reading: The Spotsylvania Campaign: May 7-21, 1864 (Great Campaigns). Description: A very detailed examination of the Spotsylvania Campaign. A dramatic study of the campaign and the clash of the titans - Robert E. Lee against Ulysses S. Grant – and it is a book that you will refuse to put down. Continued below.

About the Author: John Cannan has established a reputation among Civil War writers in a remarkably short time. His distinctions include three books selected by the Military Book Club. He is the author of The Atlanta Campaign, The Wilderness Campaign, and The Spotsylvania Campaign. Cannan is an historic preservation attorney residing in Baltimore.


Recommended Reading: The Spotsylvania Campaign (Military Campaigns of the Civil War) (Hardcover). Description: The Spotsylvania Campaign marked a crucial period in the confrontation between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in Virginia. Waged over a two-week period in mid-May 1864, it included some of the most savage fighting of the Civil War and left indelible marks on all involved. Approaching topics related to Spotsylvania from a variety of perspectives, the contributors to this volume explore questions regarding high command, tactics and strategy, the impact of fighting on officers and soldiers in both armies, and the ways in which some participants chose to remember and interpret the campaign. They offer insight into the decisions and behavior of Lee and of Federal army leaders, the fullest descriptions to date of the horrific fighting at the "Bloody Angle" on May 12, and a revealing look at how Grant used his memoirs to offset Lost Cause interpretations of his actions at Spotsylvania and elsewhere in the Overland Campaign. Continued below...

Meet the Contributors:

—William A. Blair, Grant's Second Civil War: The Battle for Historical Memory
—Peter S. Carmichael, We Respect a Good Soldier, No Matter What Flag He Fought Under: The 15th New Jersey Remembers Spotsylvania
—Gary W. Gallagher, I Have to Make the Best of What I Have: Robert E. Lee at Spotsylvania
—Robert E. L. Krick, Stuart's Last Ride: A Confederate View of Sheridan's Raid
—Robert K. Krick, An Insurmountable Barrier between the Army and Ruin: The Confederate Experience at Spotsylvania's Bloody Angle
—William D. Matter, The Federal High Command at Spotsylvania
—Carol Reardon, A Hard Road to Travel: The Impact of Continuous Operations on the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia in May 1864
—Gordon C. Rhea, The Testing of a Corp Commander: Gouverneur Kemble Warren at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania


Recommended Reading: If It Takes All Summer: The Battle of Spotsylvania (Hardcover). Description: The termination of the war and the fate of the Union hung in the balance in May of 1864 as Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Potomac clashed in the Virginia countryside—first in the battle of the Wilderness, where the Federal army sustained greater losses than at Chancellorsville, and then further south in the vicinity of Spotsylvania Courthouse, where Grant sought to cut Lee's troops off from the Confederate capital of Richmond. This is the first book-length examination of the pivotal Spotsylvania campaign of 7-21 May. Continued below...

Drawing on extensive research in manuscript collections across the country and an exhaustive reading of the available literature, William Matter sets the strategic stage for the campaign before turning to a detailed description of tactical movements. He offers abundant fresh material on race from the Wilderness to Spotsylvania, the role of Federal and Confederate cavalry, Emory Upton's brilliantly conceived Union assault on 10 May, and the bitter clash on 19 May at the Harris farm. Throughout the book, Matter assesses each side's successes, failures, and lost opportunities and sketches portraits of the principal commanders. The centerpiece of the narrative is a meticulous and dramatic treatment of the horrific encounter in the salient that formed the Confederate center on 12 May. There the campaign reached its crisis, as soldiers waged perhaps the longest and most desperate fight of the entire war for possession of the Bloody Angle—a fight so savage that trees were literally shot to pieces by musket fire. Matter's sure command of a mass of often-conflicting testimony enables him to present by far the clearest account to date of this immensely complex phase of the battle. Rigorously researched, effectively presented, and well supported by maps, this book is a model tactical study that accords long overdue attention to the Spotsylvania campaign. It will quickly take its place in the front rank of military studies of the Civil War.


Recommended Reading: Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign (Civil War America) (Hardcover). Description: In the study of field fortifications in the Civil War that began with Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War, Hess turns to the 1864 Overland campaign to cover battles from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor. Drawing on meticulous research in primary sources and careful examination of trench remnants at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Bermuda Hundred, Hess describes Union and Confederate earthworks and how Grant and Lee used them in this new era of field entrenchments.

Return to American Civil War Homepage

Best viewed with Internet Explorer or Google Chrome

Google Safe.jpg