General Grant, the Union Army, and the Road to Appomattox
After a grinding, nine-month siege of Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia, Confederate lines finally broke on April 2, 1865, after a powerful Union assault by Soldiers under the overall command of Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant. Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s battered Army of Northern Virginia fled west hoping to regroup, find supplies and join other rebel troops in North Carolina. Follow the desperate pursuit of Lee’s worn-down troops by Grant and his forces as they raced to overtake the enemy in Virginia’s rolling Piedmont hills until final victory at Appomattox. Museum educator and military historian John Maass traces this fast-moving campaign with period and modern images and maps, and details the chase that led to Lee’s surrender.
Dr. John R. Maass is an education specialist at the National Museum of the United States Army, and a former officer in the 80th Division of the Army Reserve. He received a B.A. in history from Washington and Lee University, and a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in early U.S. history and military history. Prior to coming to the Museum, he was a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History for ten years. His most recent book is “The Battle of Guilford Courthouse: A Most Desperate Engagement” (2020).
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