Thursday, May 08, 2008


This Day in the History of Losing Battle After Battle Until the War is Won

On this day in 1864, two days after the Union defeat in the Wilderness, Union forces numbering approximately 100,000 under General Grant and General Meade (never a good idea) attacked Confederate forces numbering approximately 52,000 under General Lee near the Courthouse in Spotsylvania County, north of Richmond. The battle lasted until May 21, 1964 and is called a Confederate victory because they blocked Grant's advance to Richmond, didn't get overwhelmed and annihilated and imposed more casualties on the North than they took. However, the North had more men and could take such casualties while the South could not over the long haul. Much of the fighting was done from trenches and Union forces broke through the Confederate trench line. But in a successful counter-attack on May 12, in what is often called the most intense fighting of the war, they regained much of the lost ground through hours and hours of bayonet fighting because it was raining and the powder got wet and because there was often just no time to reload.



More intense than Sharpsburg?Antietam?

On a slightly smaller scale but yes. Most bayonet charges were over in minutes. Hours and hours of thrust, parry and head bashing is about as intense as it gets. Same sort of cross fire too, the Spotsylvania angle as opposed to the bloody angle at Sharpsburg.
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