This Week in the Civil War - #856
In six weeks of fighting from the Battle of the Wilderness to the commencement of Petersburg’s siege, Grant’s army had endured tens of thousands of casualties. Especially after Cold Harbor, Grant was assailed in the northern press as a “butcher,” with Union losses used as a club in the soon-to-be, November presidential campaign in the American North. In 55 days of fighting, Union casualties totaled approximately 55,000 killed, wounded, or missing. Lincoln steadfastly supported Grant, despite his losses. Both men understood that Grant’s army was slowly wearing down Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. In fact, Lee’s smaller army was enduring higher percentages of casualties than Grant’s forces. If Grant continued to inflict higher percentages of casualties on Lee than his own forces endured, the North would eventually prevail.