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Battle Name : Spotsylvania

Date(s) : 08 May 1864 - 18 May 1864

Part of : American Civil War , Eastern Theatre, 1864 , The Wilderness Campaign ,

Outcome : A victory for American Confederate Forces over American Union Forces

Type of battle : Land


Confederate General Lee thwarted the Union drive for Richmond near Spotsylvania Court House. This battle immediately followed a Confederate victory in the Wilderness. After Grant realized he could not break Lee's lines he continued to slide his army south and east until they were checked again at the North Anna River.


Spotsylvania Courthouse (USA)

More details

The second major battle of Grant's overland campaign. After being thwarted and hammered in the Wilderness the Union Army of Grant turned South towards Richmond. Due to fortunate circumstances- Lee's corps commander Anderson (who replaced an injured Longstreet) decided to move his force away from the carnage of the Wilderness. Thus they were able to win the race to Spotsylvania Courthouse. Grant attempted a series of manuevers to crack the Confederate line but was thwarted after heavy fighting. He nearly succeeded at the "Bloody Angle" and "Mule Shoe". But Lee's forces held firm and Grant turned south, only to be blocked again at the North Anna River.

In the first two battles (Wilderness and Spotsylvania) of the 1864 "Overland" Campaign the Army of the Potomac suffered 36,000 casualties.

By the time Army of the Potomac reached the James River through a series of south easterly moves they had incurred 65,000 and were no closer to Richmond than McClellan had been in March of 1862.

But the Army of Northern Virginia had lost approximately 32,000 men during these battles and was also gravely weakened.

Casualty figures

American Confederate Forces

Number engaged :

Casualties :
10,000 (19.23%)

American Union Forces

Number engaged :

Casualties :
18,000 (18.00%)