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Petersburg to AppomattoxThe End of the War in Virginia$
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Caroline E. Janney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469640761

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640761.001.0001

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Grant Finally Takes Command

Grant Finally Takes Command

How the Race to Appomattox Was Won

(p.13) 1 Grant Finally Takes Command
Petersburg to Appomattox

William W. Bergen

University of North Carolina Press

William Bergen argues that such a turn-around occurred only once Grant was able to institute his own aggressive brand of warfare with the armies of the James and Potomac – once he finally, and completely, took command. But such was not an easy task. Unlike Lee who had command of a single army – and had led that army for two years by the time of the Overland Campaign – as general in chief, Grant commanded all the Union forces while accompanying an unfamiliar army in an unfamiliar region. He would first need to get to know his various armies and commanders, and equally important, break the culture of caution that had developed in the Union’s largest and most visible army, the Army of the Potomac. Finally freed from political constraints after the presidential election in November 1864, Grant appointed army and corps commanders who matched his style and temperament thus enabling him to shape the Union forces that would succeed in one final campaign.

Keywords:   Army of the Potomac, Army of the James, Ulysses S. Grant, Overland Campaign, Appomattox Campaign, United States – History, Military – to 1900

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