Grant's Overland Campaign


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Third Federal (Union) Occupation and Reconstruction

Grant's Overland Campaign

In the spring of 1864, General U.S. Grant set all of the Federal armies in the Eastern Theater in motion. His headquarters was with Meade’s Army of the Potomac. Along with the independent IX Army Corps (Burnside), that army attacked in a series of battles, engagements and skirmishes, including those at the Wilderness (May 5-7, 1864); Todd’s Tavern (May 5, 8); Spotsylvania Court House (May 8-21); Yellow Tavern (May 11); North Anna River (May 28-June 1); Totopotomoy Creek (May 28-31); Bethesda Church (May 31); Cold Harbor (May 31-June 12); Ashland (June 1); and Trevilian Station (June 11). In mid-May operations secured key points along the James River near Richmond. The Richmond Campaign and the Petersburg Siege commenced in mid-June. Supporting operations took place in the upper and lower Shenandoah Valley.

All of the operations of the Army of the Potomac were supported logistically from the reestablished bases at Belle Plain and Aquia Landing (reopened in May with a rail line to Falmouth). In mid-June, Grant shifted his logistics base to City Point (now Hopewell) on the James. At that point Stafford ceased to be significant to Federal operations.

(Photo is of Belle Plain in May of 1864.)