A Campaign of Giants--The Battle for Petersburg

Volume 1: From the Crossing of the James to the Crater

By A. Wilson Greene

Foreword by Gary W. Gallagher

728 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 34 maps, notes, bibl., index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3857-7
    Published: June 2018
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3858-4
    Published: April 2018

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Grinding, bloody, and ultimately decisive, the Petersburg Campaign was the Civil War's longest and among its most complex. Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee squared off for more than nine months in their struggle for Petersburg, the key to the Confederate capital at Richmond. Featuring some of the war's most notorious battles, the campaign played out against a backdrop of political drama and crucial fighting elsewhere, with massive costs for soldiers and civilians alike. After failing to bull his way into Petersburg, Grant concentrated on isolating the city from its communications with the rest of the surviving Confederacy, stretching Lee's defenses to the breaking point. When Lee's desperate breakout attempt failed in March 1865, Grant launched his final offensives that forced the Confederates to abandon the city on April 2, 1865. A week later, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House.

Here A. Wilson Greene opens his sweeping new three-volume history of the Petersburg Campaign, taking readers from Grant's crossing of the James in mid-June 1864 to the fateful Battle of the Crater on July 30. Full of fresh insights drawn from military, political, and social history, A Campaign of Giants is destined to be the definitive account of the campaign. With new perspectives on operational and tactical choices by commanders, the experiences of common soldiers and civilians, and the significant role of the United States Colored Troops in the fighting, this book offers essential reading for all those interested in the history of the Civil War.

About the Authors

A. Wilson Greene is the former president of the Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier and author of The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign.
For more information about A. Wilson Greene, visit the Author Page.

Gary W. Gallagher is John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author or editor of numerous books, including Lee and His Army in Confederate History and The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864.
For more information about Gary W. Gallagher, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

A Campaign of Giants stands among the most authoritative and engagingly presented Civil War studies ever written.”--Wall Street Journal

"A. Wilson Greene's A Campaign of Giants is a masterpiece of the highest order. This book will doubtless stand as 2018's most significant Civil War book and the definitive word on the Petersburg Campaign for years to come."--Gordon C. Rhea, author of On to Petersburg

"I think it safe to say that A. Wilson Greene knows more about the Petersburg campaign than any other living person. The longest and most decisive operation of the Civil War is not likely to ever undergo a more thorough or insightful examination."—William Marvel, author of Lincoln’s Autocrat

"So vast a campaign deserves vast coverage; at long last it finds such coverage in this book. This first volume and the two which will follow make A Campaign of Giants the most important book ever written on the Petersburg Campaign."--Richard J. Sommers, author of Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg