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|It would have helped if I'd finished my thought. I think that the terrain was one of the contributing factors to Grant pushing forward with the attack at Cold Harbor. He'd found a spot where he could mass troops and get at Lee (or had been told he had, someone already pointed out neither he nor meade had actually seen the ground), so he went for it.
Butcher or no butcher, in touch with his army or not, Grant did realize that every time the AotP let the pressure off the ANV, it slipped away and caused problems elsewhere. Cold Harbor was not a good decision, but keeping the pressure on Lee's army is what ultimately won the war. Previous Union leaders would have sent the AotP north when Early went up the Shanadoah.