On May 3rd, 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant orders the Army of the Potomac to march South to being his Overland Campaign in Virginia. Grant is now the General-in-Chief of the US Army and will lead the Army of the Potomac South to meet Lee in an attempt to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia once and for all.
May 3-4, 1864 – Crossing the Fords
Grant takes command and heads South — Grant moves the Army of the Potomac out of Culpeper and across the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers near Fredericksburg, Virginia.
May 5-6, 1864 – Battle of the Wilderness
Grant shows Lee that he is different — The first battle between Grant and Lee in the woods and thickets of Northern Virginia.
May 7-12, 1864 – Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
Lee blocks Grant’s Move to the East — A place where the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War takes place.
May 13-25, 1864 – Battle of North Anna River
Lee’s Trap Fails — Lee beats Grant to the North Anna River but is unable to spring a trap that would have cut Grant’s army into three pieces.
May 26, 1864 – June 3, 1864 – Battle of Cold Harbor
Grant finally gets Lee in the open — The massive assault on the Confederate defenses at Cold Harbor does not go well.
June 15-18, 1864 – Second Battle of Petersburg
The End of the Overland Campaign — The second attempt to take Petersburg fails when Confederate reinforcements arrive and stop the assault.
June 18, 1864 – April 2, 1865 – Seige of Petersburg
10-month Seige of Petersburg — Grant’s forces encircle Lee’s army at Petersburg and Richmond and begin to squeeze the Confederate defenders.
April 2, 1865 – Third Battle of Petersburg
End of the Seige of Petersburg — The third attempt to take Petersburg breaks through the defenses and ends the 292-day siege.
April 3-7, 1865 – Chasing Lee
Grant chases Lee’s army West across Virginia — Grant’s forces move to cut off Lee’s dwindling army before it can escape to Tennessee.
April 8-9, 1865 – Battle of Appomattox Court House
Grant catches Lee’s retreating army at Appomattox — Grant’s forces defeat Lee’s dwindling army at Appomattox in one of the last battles of the American Civil War.
April 9, 1865 – Lee Surrenders at Appomattox Court House
Grant surrounds Lee’s army with two corps of Union soldiers — Hopelessly outnumbered and cut off from escape, Lee surrenders his Army of Northern Virginia to Grant.