View single post by Don
 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 05:57 pm
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Joined: Thu Nov 15th, 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 111

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ole wrote: I believe McClellan got about as far as Grant did in the wilderness during the time-frame (up to Cold Harbor) we are discussing.  That was the AoP's second excursion into the wilderness.
Going off the top of my head here, Joanie, but someone will come along shortly who knows the territory:

The Wilderness runs roughly from Chancellorsville south. It is so named because it is recent, second-growth forest -- the first growth having been cut down to feed a fledgling iron industry in the area. That is, cut down the big trees and you get a thick growth of brush and saplings that you wouldn't find as an understory in an old forest.

McClellan's area of operation wasn't a walk in the park but, as I understand it, more closely resembled a swamp. I suspect that if you took out a map, you will find that Mac got closer to Richmond than did Grant, In the end, it was Grant that took it.


Hmm, might have overdone the quote on that one....

Ole, I'll defer to the folks in the Spottsylvania area for specifics on the terrain, but the Wilderness was largely new terrain for Grant's army in 1864.  I believe the Union movements prior to Chancellorsville were several miles north of where the Wilderness fighting took place, but I've only been over the ground a couple of times.

McClellan's AO was different, though I'm not sure about more or less difficult.  I'm a lot more familair with the Peninsula, and the many rivers and (at the time) poor roads would have made his advance slow in any case.  Not as slow as he made it, but slow.  He did indeed get closer to Richmond than Grant did during the Overland Campaign (who named that, anyway?), but I personally think this was due to the nature of the terrain.  There just weren't many good places to have a big dust-up until you neared Richmond due to the terrain. 

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