Among all the killing fields of the Civil War, certain battlegrounds have earned the right to be called legendary: Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg and Cold Harbor. With a level of destruction and a rate of casualties unprecedented in American military history, each of these clashes would play a pivotal role in shaping the course and the ultimate outcome of the war between the states. Now, CIVIL WAR COMBAT presents an extraordinary overview of that epic conflict's most decisive battles in comprehensive detail. With in-depth perspectives by leading Civil War historians, each battle is reconstructed against the backdrop of the military situation in the field, the tactical challenges facing the combatants, and the political consequences of every skirmish won... or lost. Highlighted by battlefield re-enactments and eye-witness accounts, CIVIL WAR COMBAT offers a dramatic look at the most significant and brutal battles of America's bloodiest era.
In the winter of 1862, Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant marched into Southern Tennessee to secure the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers and provide troop reinforcements. Aware of Grant's plans, Confederate General Albert S. Johnston attacked, catching Grant by surprise near Shiloh Church. The battle peaked along an abandoned wagon road later named 'The Hornets' Nest' for the intensity of the fighting there.
In September of 1862, Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee invaded the North for the first time. His advance was blocked by Union troops in a battle fought near a small Maryland stream called Antietam Creek. The resulting loss of men on both sides would make this the bloodiest single day in American military history.
Determined to bring the fighting to the North, General Robert E. Lee launched an attack on the Union in Pennsylvania. When the two armies clashed near Gettysburg, the battle of 'The Wheatfield' saw soldiers fighting literally hand-to-hand. This battle remains one of the most dramatic scenes in American military history.
Relentlessly pursuing Lee's forces, Grant finally caught up with him outside of Richmond, Virginia, and sent his troops into what some called a suicidal assault against the well-entrenched Confederate armies. Ultimately, the Union paid the price with over seven thousand lives lost in just twenty minutes. According to one Rebel officer observing the slaughter, 'It wasn't war. It was murder.'