Total War: March to September 1864

The Man of the Hour

Was this when the expression “total war” was first employed?

We do not know the precise moment at which those words were used, but no doubt exists that this was the time at which that policy was agreed upon. Every previous Union general in the East had either attempted to capture Richmond or to drive Lee’s army south. None—not even “Fighting Joe” Hooker—had declared that he needed to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia. That was precisely what Grant intended to accomplish.


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