Grant vs Lee (Mackowski & Welch CH)

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Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War

Edited by Chris Mackowski and Dan Welch

With the presidential election looming in the fall, President Abraham Lincoln needed to break the deadlock. To do so, he promoted Ulysses S. Grant—the man who had strung together victory after victory in the Western Theater, including the capture of two entire Confederate armies. The unassuming “dust-covered man” was now in command of all the Union armies, and he came east to lead them.

The unlucky soldiers of George G. Meade’s Army of the Potomac had developed a grudging respect for their Southern adversary and assumed a wait-and-see attitude: “Grant,” they reasoned, “has never met Bobby Lee yet.”

By the spring of 1864, Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, had come to embody the Confederate cause. Grant knew as much and decided to take the field with the Potomac army. He ordered his subordinates to forego efforts to capture the capital of Richmond in favor of annihilating Lee’s command. Grant’s directive to General Meade was straightforward: “Where Lee goes, there you will go also.”

Lee and Grant would come to symbolize the armies they led when the spring 1864 campaign began in northern Virginia in the Wilderness on May 5, 1864. What followed was a desperate and bloody death match that ran through the long siege of Richmond and Petersburg before finally ending at Appomattox Court House eleven months later—but at what cost along the way?

Grant vs. Lee: Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War recounts some of the most famous episodes and compelling human dramas from the marquee matchup of the Civil War. These expanded and revised essays also commemorate a decade of Emerging Civil War, a “best of” collection on the Overland Campaign, the siege of Petersburg, and the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.


  • Hardcover
  • 312 pages
  • Release Date: April 2022
  • S/L #547124