Nowhere to Run: The Wilderness, May 4th & 5th, 1864 Volume I
by John Michael Priest
When the armies entered the Wilderness, they were changed forever. Within thirty-six hours after the Army of the Potomac began its attempt to flank the Army of Northern Virginia and attack Richmond, the armies became locked in combat. In two days of bloody fighting by disconnected and often confused but heroic forces, Lee fought Grant to a tactical draw at a cost of approximately 18,000 Union and an estimated 8,000 Confederate casualties.
Only John Michael Priest could capture the human impact of that fighting, action that exhausted both armies as they fought towards Cold Harbor. This first of two volumes brings the reader to the evening of May 5, 1864.
"Farther to the rear, and closer to Germanna Ford, the Ninth Corps bands serenaded the troops with patriotic airs while the soldiers waited for their coffee to boil. The veterans did not want to hear the selections the musicians had chosen. They insisted on 'Home, Sweet Home.' The sight of so many playing cards strewn along the roadside led many of the men in the 45th Pennsylvania (Potter's Division) to think of their souls. Private William A. Roberts (Company K) listened to the melancholy strains of the John H. Payne favorite and solemnly observed veterans, like himself, crying unashamedly...."