Interpreting History

“The problem with Civil War history is that all the letters home are going to have a bias. People have axes to grind, people want to make their buddies look good, and make themselves look good. The battle reports are all written from a point of view and, of course, all the reports written after the war read sort of like ‘how I could have won the war if they had let me do it. All you can do as a historian is get all those accounts together read through them all, and see if there are some common threads.”
— Gordon Rhea, C-SPAN Interview with Peter Carmichael, June 20, 2014.


Overland Campaign Book Series
The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5–6, 1864
The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern, May 7–12, 1864
To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13–25, 1864
Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26–June 3, 1864
On to Petersburg: Grant and Lee, June 4-15, 1864

Emerging Civil War Series
No Turning Back: A Guide to the 1864 Overland Campaign, from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May 4-June 13, 1864
Hell Itself: The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-7, 1864
A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, May 8-21, 1864
Strike Them a Blow: Battle along the North Anna River, May 21-25, 1864
Hurricane from the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor, May 26 – June 5, 1864
Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg, March 25 – April 2, 1865
To the Bitter End: Appomattox, Bennett Place, and the Surrenders of the Confederacy

Civil War Sesquicentennial Series
The Battle of Totopotomoy Creek: Polegreen Church and the Prelude to Cold Harbor
The Battle of First Deep Bottom
The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword
Fort Harrison and the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm: To Surprise and Capture Richmond
Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg, The Battles of Chaffin’s Bluff and Poplar Spring Church, September 29 – October 2, 1864
The Battle of Cedar Creek: Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

Online Sources

Library of Congress
Germanna Ford, Rapidan River, Va. Artillery crossing pontoon bridges
Plan of the Battle of the Wilderness, Va. : May 5th to 12th
The 6th Corps–Battle of the Wilderness–fighting in the woods / E.F.
The battle of the Wilderness Va. May 5th & 6th 1864
Battle of the Wilderness–Desperate fight on the Orange C.H. Plank Road, near Todd’s Tavern, May 6th, 1864
Confederate entrenchments near McCool’s [i.e. McCoull’s] house
Wounded escaping from the burning woods of the Wilderness
The Wilderness, on the Brock road, 2nd Corps–May 11th 1864 / E.F.

American Battlefield Trust
The Overland Campaign: Animated Battle Map
Battle of the Wilderness – May 5-6, 1864
Battle of the Wilderness: Saunders Field – May 5, 1864
The Wilderness – Orange Turnpike Fight – May 5, 1864
The Wilderness – May 5, 1864 by Jedediah Hotchkiss
Sketch of the Battle of the Wilderness, position of 2nd Corps, A.N.V., Thursday May 5th
Sketch of the Battle of the Wilderness, position of 2nd Corps, A.N.V., Friday, May 6th
The Wilderness – Orange Turnpike Fight – May 6, 1864
The Wilderness – Orange Plank Road Fight – May 6, 1864 – 2pm to 6pm

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
The Civil War Battle Series: From Wilderness to Cold Harbor with Dr. Mark DePue (September 24, 2015)
The Civil War Battle Series: The Road to Appomattox (September 24, 2015)

The American Civil War Museum
Battle of the Wilderness with Ed Bearss (June 20, 2014)

Emerging Civil War
James H. Wilson and the American Civil War (September 7, 2015) – Battle Of The Wilderness
Grant and Lee Meet at Last. Originally published in the May 2007 issue of Civil War Times.
Information about The Battle Of The Wilderness, an 1864 Civil War Battle of the American Civil War

C-SPAN – 1864 Overland Campaign
Peter Carmichael interviews Gordon Rhea – June 20, 2014

The Memoirs of General Ulysses S. Grant
Chapter L: Battle of the Wilderness (June 20, 2014)

Warfare History Network
Grant Takes D.C.

Culpeper Star-Exponent
When U.S. Grant came to Culpeper, he held the nation’s fate in his hands (April 13, 2019)

Herman Melville – The Armies of the Wilderness
First Appearance in “Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War” (1866) [PDF]

Columbia – The Daily Herald
Robert E. Lee, the King of Spades (February 16, 2014)
Grand Movement of the Army of the Potomac—Crossing the Rapidan—Entering the Wilderness—Battle of the Wilderness

Spotsylvania Civil War Blog
Grant’s Army, Crossing the Rapidan – Then and Now

Blue and Gray Magazine
Historic Crossings of the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers (Volume 32 #3)

OSU Department of History
Wilderness (Combats at Parker’s Store, Craig’s Meeting House, Todd’s Tavern, Brock Road, the Furnaces )
Spotsylvania (Combats at Laurel Hill and Corbin’s Bridge (May 8); Ni River (May 9) *)

Vermont in the Civil War
Chapter XXVIII – The First Cavalry Regiment [PDF]

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