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Campaign of Giants--The Battle for PetersburgVolume 1: From the Crossing of the James to the Crater$
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A. Wilson Greene

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469638577

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469638577.001.0001

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Strangled in Dust and Scorched in the Sun

Strangled in Dust and Scorched in the Sun

Army Operations, Late June to Mid-July

(p.332) Nine Strangled in Dust and Scorched in the Sun
Campaign of Giants--The Battle for Petersburg

A. Wilson Greene

University of North Carolina Press

From late June to mid-July 1864, the period between Grant’s Second and Third Petersburg Offensives, soldiers on both sides experienced hardships caused by drought and deluge, enervating heat, and particularly for the Confederates, an unreliable diet. Casualties mounted from relentless sharpshooting and mortar attacks, but the majority of soldiers in both armies maintained good morale. The average Johnny Reb believed that Robert E. Lee could never be driven from Petersburg and Richmond. Most Billy Yanks trusted their commander, Ulysses S. Grant, evincing a strong desire to see the war through to a successful conclusion, regardless of how long it took. Still, desertion began to plague both armies as the summer ground on with no end to the fighting in sight. The soldiers constructed ever more elaborate field fortifications and gradually adapted to life in their trenches and bombproofs. Grant detached most of his cavalry and an infantry corps to counter a threat to Washington posed by Confederates under Jubal Early and made a controversial change in the command of the 18th Corps.

Keywords:   Soldier Life, Sharpshooting, Desertion, Field fortifications, Jubal Early, Soldier Morale, Benjamin F. Butler, William F. Smith, Ulysses S. Grant

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