In May 1864, the Wilderness, a forbidding woodland south of the Rapidan River in Virginia, became the site of one of the concluding struggles of the Civil War, a contest of strategy, tactics and will between the finest generals of either side: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. . For two days in early May,1864, a dark woodland south of the Rapidan River known as the Wilderness rang with the clamor of battle. The musketry and cheers of the troops of the Confederacy and the Union were deafening as charge gave way to countercharge. Fires erupted which consumed the dead and wounded, filling the air with the stench of burning flesh. The battle of the Wilderness was what many witnesses would describe as "hell on earth. "The Wilderness Campaign traces the early maneuvering of Ulysses S. Grant's offensive against the Confederate capital at Richmond and Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The resulting battle was Grant's first fight in the Eastern theater after President Lincoln gave him command of all the Union armies. It was an engagement that Grant sought to avoid, but wholeheartedly accepted when he confronted lee's army.
It ended as one of the bloodiest repulses of the Civil War. John Cannan details Grant's strategy and planning as he moved his army ever closer to confrontation. The vivid descriptions of the confused fighting and battle chaos give the reader insight into the desperate quality of Civil War combat. The book also includes fascinating sidebars about the personalities and units involved, as well as other interesting topics on the war itself, such as religion in the Southern army, the telegraph, the draft, and the parole and exchange system. With eleven maps and over fifty illustrations