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The Pros And Cons Of The Overland Campaign

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The Overland Campaign, which saw the bloodiest fighting in the continent of North American, was a necessary evil to end the American Civil War. Starting on May 4th of 1864, the newly promoted Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant committed to destroying Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia in the field. First, one must look at what the Overland Campaign entailed. Next, this paper will examine previous major Northern victories and consider the differences between them and Grant’s campaign. Finally, one can come to the conclusion that the Overland Campaign effectively helped end the war and without it, fighting was sure to be prolonged. After his successes in the West, U. S. Grant became the first Lieutenant General since George Washington on March 2nd of 1864 and assumed command of the entire Union Army. Hopes were high for General Grant, seen in a letter the previous year, President Abraham Lincoln expressed his trust for Grant when he that he originally “feared it was a mistake” in regards to his attack on Vicksburg and “I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were right, and I was wrong.” Heretofore, Union Generals in the East focused on capturing specific cities, however, Grant wanted to cripple the Confederate Army. In a letter from Grant to Major General George Meade before the Overland Campaign began, he outlined his intentions of the operation, writing that “Lee’s army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go
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