Aftermath of Gettysburg - The Overland Campaign

Grant Monument
After the largest land battle of the war, the Northern and Southern armies in the war's Eastern Theater reorganized and refitted. Although the clash in Pennsylvania certainly weakened the officer pool of the Northern Army, it decimated the command structure of the Confederate forces, eliminating more men than the South could easily replace. However, although many later would call Gettysburg the South's "High Water Mark", the Confederate soldiers at the time did not view it as such. Far from feeling beaten, General James Longstreet's men would detach from the Army of Northern Virginia and move west. While General Lee's remaining forces held the Federals at bay, just two months later, Longstreet's men helped General Braxton Bragg win the largest Confederate victory in the west at Chickamauga. The men in blue under Major General William S. Rosecrans would retreat into the city of Chattanooga Tennessee and plan a counter stroke.

Taking the substantial high ground around Chattanooga, General Bragg would surround and almost completely cut off the Union soldiers from their supplies. The future for the men in blue looked grim indeed. The north responded however by bringing Major General Ulysses S. Grant to Tennessee. With the help of the Army of the Potomac's 11th and 12th Corps who also moved west, and the AOP's former commander Major General Joseph Hooker, Grant would successfully break the Confederate siege. President Lincoln would then promote Grant to Lieutenant General and add to his laurels the position of General-in-Chief of all Union armies. The pages that follow chronicle Grant's time in the field with the Army of the Potomac, his Overland Campaign against the Confederates, and General Robert E. Lee's attempts to stop Grant from what he feared might be eventual siege and surrender.

While General George Gordon Meade would remain in command of the Army of the Potomac, Grant would move with Meade's Army and infuse his relentless determination into the Federal's strategic plans. Within the following pages, you'll visit some of the battlefields in the east that played a part in winding down this sanguinary drama. While Major General William Tecumseh Sherman moved against Confederate Generals Joseph E. Johnston and then John Bell Hood, the fighting and the casualties in the east would escalate to horrific levels not yet seen in an already horribly bloody war.