JULY 2018

JULY 2018
One Hundred Years Later, Same Message. 1916 - 2017


Thursday, May 01, 2008

MONDAY MAY 4, 1863

As the Union Army retreats once more from the Rapidan River crossings in Northern Virginia the final death toll is counted; 17,000 Union and 13,000 Confederate causalities. And this day the last brigades of John Longstreet’s corps, which Lee had been forced to disperse to the tidewater areas of Southern Virginia and North Carolina to forage during the winter, cross the Blackwater River to rejoin the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee is gathering his strength for an invasion of Pennsylvania.

In Mississippi Grant orders a reconnaissance in force toward Vicksburg, intending to convince Pemberton that the “Gibraltar of the South” is his immediate target. In truth he is still not certain which way he will turn. Sherman, meanwhile, is guiding his men down the tortuous road to Hard Times, opposite Grand Gulf. Grant orders him to hold one of his divisions back to defend the road from Milliken’s Bend to Hard Times Landing. Now, when Sherman finally rejoins the main body with his two remaining divisions, Grant will have 42,000 men in Mississippi; still not a clear majority over Pemberton's total force, but enough of an advantage to make Grant confident he can outmaneuver the rigid Pemberton.

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