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The Spotsylvania Campaign$
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Gary W. Gallagher

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780807824023

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807898376_gallagher

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A Hard Road to Travel

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

(p.170) A Hard Road to Travel
The Spotsylvania Campaign

Carol Reardon

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter uses the concept of “military effectiveness” to search for insights into how men performed under stressful conditions. Employing a comparative framework, it explores such factors as quality of leadership, weather, personal hygiene, infusion of replacement troops, lack of sleep, construction of earthworks, and the nature of combat, which ranged from all-out assaults to sniping and skirmishing. It finds remarkable resiliency within the ranks of both armies as soldiers came to terms with changing styles of warfare. In the context of May 1864, however, the Army of Northern Virginia maintained a somewhat higher degree of military effectiveness than the Army of the Potomac.

Keywords:   Civil War, military campaigns, military effectiveness, resiliency, Federals, Confederates, Army of Northern Virginia, Army of the Potomac

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