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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 24. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones) 2 0 Browse Search
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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 24. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), A parallel for Grant's action. (search)
n the Union army that Lee was absolutely infallible and that the Rapidan was a sort of Chinese wall which could not be successfully passed while Lee defended it. This was a victory in itself. Just one year previously Lee had boldly attacked Hooker on this same ground and disastrously defeated and driven him back across the Rappahannock. Hooker's forces in the Chancellorsville campaign were greater by 20,000 than Grant's in the Wilderness, while Lee's were about the same in both. At Spotsylvania Hancock broke through the Confederate breastworks and captured many prisoners. Feeble attempts of the Confederates at Spotsylvania, North Anna, and Bethesda Church to take the offensive were easily repulsed, and with considerable loss. In short, in this campaign the Union army was handled with a boldness and confidence unknown in its previous history, and with a success in the presence of R. E. Lee which surprised those to whom his name had been a terror for three years. All expectation o