The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign: Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion
by A. Wilson Greene
BTC’s Take: After owning this book for a very long time, I was finally able to read it. Greene focuses on the VI Corps breakthrough on April 2, 1865 against A.P. Hill’s Rebel Corps, but he also gives a nice overview of the Siege in 1865. His narrative is interesting and allows you to see the action clearly. There are a bunch of maps and they often go down to the regimental level. This detailed look at the fighting during the “Breakthrough” along with other actions of Grant’s Ninth Offensive against Petersburg, especially the updated 2008 second edition, is a must own for those interested in the Siege of Petersburg. 573 pp., 32 maps
BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:
BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Sources:
The Petersburg Campaign was what finally did it. After months of relentless conflict throughout 1864, the Confederate army led by General Robert E. Lee holed up in the Virginia city of Petersburg as Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant’s vastly superior forces lurked nearby. The brutal fighting that took place around the city during 1864 and into 1865 decimated both armies as Grant used his manpower advantage to repeatedly smash the Confederate lines, a tactic that eventually resulted in the decisive breakthrough that ultimately doomed the Confederacy. The breakthrough and the events that led up to it are the subject of A. Wilson Greene’s groundbreaking book The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign, a significant revision of a much-praised work first published in 2000.
Surprisingly, despite Petersburg’s decisive importance to the war’s outcome, the campaign has received scant attention from historians. Greene’s book, with its incisive analysis and compelling narrative, changes this, offering readers a rich account of the personalities and strategies that shaped the final phase of the fighting.
Greene’s ultimate focus on the climatic engagements of April 2, 1865, the day that Confederate control of Richmond and Petersburg was effectively ended. The book tells this story from the perspectives of the two army groups that clashed on that day: the Union Sixth Corps and the Confederate Third Corps. But Greene does more than just recount the military tactics at Petersburg; he also connects the reader intimately with how the war affected society and spotlights the soldiers, both officers and enlisted men, whose experiences defined the outcome. Thanks to his extensive research and consultation of rare source materials, Greene gives readers a vibrant perspective on the campaign that broke the Confederate spirit once and for all.
A. Wilson Greene is president of Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier near Petersburg, Virginia. He also has taught at Mary Washington College and worked for sixteen years with the National Park Service.
Hardcover First Edition
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Release Date: July 15, 2000
Pages: 576 Pages
Hardcover Second Edition:
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Release Date: February 1, 2008
Pages: 573 Pages
The Siege of Petersburg Online: Beyond the Crater Pages Which Mention This Book: