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 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 02:02 am
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connyankee
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Alternative to the attack at Cold Harbor?

I am inclined to say no.  With each maneuver of the spring campaign, Grant's army came closer to Richmond.  While Richmond was not Grant's objective, the Confederates had their backs to the capitol.  There is evidence to suggest (a letter to Halleck after North Anna, I think) Grant thought Lee's army was whipped.  Grant skillfully abandoned North Anna once he understood Lee's deployment.  The position there was observed by many of his commanders to be too strong. 

The move by the armies to Cold Harbor is an interesting one marked by numerous engagements (e.g. Haw's Shop) and the crossing of rivers.  I don't believe the Federals had any clue how strong the Confederates had dug in at C.H.  They had the better part of three days to improve their works after Sheridan cleared the crossroads.  As before in the campaign, an attack in hopes of finding a weakness seemed a logical thing to do.  Could Grant have fainted an attack at C.H. and simply crossed the James?  I really don't know the answer to that.

connyankee

 

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