Chapter

The Cost of Independence

Gary W. Gallagher

in Why Confederates Fought

Published by University of North Carolina Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780807831588
Published online July 2014 | e-ISBN: 9781469605203
The Cost of Independence

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This chapter focuses on the renewed battle to regain control of Virginia that occurred in 1864. The Union army, after following Lee's army back into northern Virginia in mid-1863, camped on the north bank of the Rapidan River. The battles of 1864 all took place south of this point, subjecting Virginia citizens again to the destructive presence of both armies and battles. The Army of the Potomac subsequently pushed Lee's Confederates back to the defensive confines of Petersburg, twenty miles south of Richmond. This action, dubbed the “Overland” campaign, generated the highest number of casualties and the greatest attention from observers of any episode in the war. Often overshadowed by the bloody fighting in eastern Virginia, the 1864 campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley captured in microcosm the experiences of Virginia civilians and soldiers as the war reached its climax.

Keywords: Virginia; Union army; Rapidan River; Potomac; Overland campaign; Shenandoah Valley

Chapter.  11090 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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