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Why Confederates FoughtFamily and Nation in Civil War Virginia$
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Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831588

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807887653_sheehan-dean

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The Cost of Independence

The Cost of Independence

January–June 1864

(p.141) 6 The Cost of Independence
Why Confederates Fought

Gary W. Gallagher

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the renewed battle to regain control of Virginia that occurred in 1864. The Union army, after following Lee's army back into northern Virginia in mid-1863, camped on the north bank of the Rapidan River. The battles of 1864 all took place south of this point, subjecting Virginia citizens again to the destructive presence of both armies and battles. The Army of the Potomac subsequently pushed Lee's Confederates back to the defensive confines of Petersburg, twenty miles south of Richmond. This action, dubbed the “Overland” campaign, generated the highest number of casualties and the greatest attention from observers of any episode in the war. Often overshadowed by the bloody fighting in eastern Virginia, the 1864 campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley captured in microcosm the experiences of Virginia civilians and soldiers as the war reached its climax.

Keywords:   Virginia, Union army, Rapidan River, Potomac, Overland campaign, Shenandoah Valley

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