Overland Campaign Research Paper

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The Overland Campaign was a turning point in the Civil War: it was a strategic victory for the Union, but consisted of heavy losses on both sides. In just 40 days, the Union lost 55,000 men. The Confederates lost 36,000 men, but with an army roughly half of the Union’s to begin with, their losses were proportionally much greater. The final battle of the campaign, Cold Harbor, led to extremely high losses on both sides, but was a defensive victory for Lee. Anti-war sentiments grew in the North and Grant was labeled “the butcher.” Despite the high losses, Grant knew this is what had to happen in order to achieve the North’s strategic objectives in the war. Grant said, “My object in war was to exhaust Lee’s army. I was obliged to sacrifice men…show more content…
A year after the Overland Campaign was completed, and after months of desperately defending Richmond, the Confederates surrendered in April 1865, ending the Civil War. The Overland Campaign is significant because it was the first military campaign in which a military leader was able to look beyond a single decisive battle. Instead, Grant understood the operational level, and continued maneuvering his troops until the final strategic goal was reached. The results of the battles within the campaign had no clear winner and had high casualties on both sides, but the campaign itself was a strategic victory for the…show more content…
Railroads were in place, which allowed the Union to restock their supplies and move their men at a much faster pace than the Confederates. At the beginning of the war, these were all clear advantages for the Union. But, this was not a perfectly executed campaign. Mistakes were made. Grant was convinced Lee was exhausted before Cold Harbor - this was an incorrect assumption. A lot of lives were lost. There were no single decisive battles. A key hurdle was the terrain. Another hurdle was the face to face fighting that led to many deaths. The technology situation was a large operational problem, as well. While the Union was able to restock their supplies and replace their casualties, it was still alarming how many lives they were losing from the changes in technological advances. They were able to adapt to this issue but creating trenches. However, trench warfare had its own operational
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