Total War: March to September 1864
Death of a Cavalier
How did Lee respond to Grant’s move?
The only way he could. As Grant’s army moved to its left, Lee and his force had to move to its right, to counter. The two armies clashed at Spotsylvania Court House.
The battle was furious, but at least this time the opponents could see each other. As before, Grant kept turning the Army of the Potomac in a clockwise direction, to the southeast, and Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia continually attempted to keep that clock from moving completely. If the hands of that metaphorical clock ever swung around completely, the Confederates would be smashed.
Spotsylvania Court House was another meat-grinder for the men in the field. Roughly seven thousand men were killed, wounded, or missing on both sides. By now, the men of the Army of the Potomac had great confidence in Grant: they knew he would not turn back, regardless of the casualties. There were many calls in the North for his replacement, however, with the newspapers taking up the call of “Grant the butcher.” More temperate newspaper editors questioned the wisdom of his plans. But Grant did the same thing as before.