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The Wilderness Campaign$
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Gary W. Gallagher

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780807823347

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807835890_gallagher

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I Dread the Spring

I Dread the Spring

The Army of the Potomac Prepares for the Overland Campaign

(p.66) I Dread the Spring
The Wilderness Campaign

John J. Hennessy

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter sketches an Army of the Potomac beset with more doubts than its Confederate opponent but cautiously optimistic that Grant might hold the key to victory. The soldiers passed a winter of 1863–64 markedly different from the troubled one that had followed the battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862. They lauded George G. Meade's decision not to launch an offensive against Lee's strong positions at Mine Run in late fall 1863; accepted with minimal grumbling the consolidation of the army into three large corps; and benefited from excellent army administrative work that kept supplies flowing smoothly to the camps. The men also sensed stronger support from the home front; witnessed less political bickering between their generals and Republican politicians in Washington; and turned in increasing numbers to religion.

Keywords:   Civil War, military campaigns, soldiers, morale, Federals, Union, George G. Meade

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