Total War: March to September 1864

Battle of the Crater

Which side was more displeased to have to fight in this way?

Grant, of course, was greatly disappointed in not having captured Petersburg. Instead of a dramatic swift blow that might end the war, he had to settle down to an interminable number of details concerned with the siege: none of them was his specialty. But if Grant was down about having to conduct a siege, Lee was despondent over having to fight in this manner.

From its inception, the Army of Northern Virginia had fought best while on the offensive and had done so with the improvisational skills of its officer corps. Lee and his top commanders provided the tactical and strategic genius, but their orders had to be carried out by the men in the field, and whether it fell harder on the captains and lieutenants or the sergeants and corporals is an interesting question in itself. But Lee and his men were not accustomed to fighting a protracted siege, and Lee confessed to one of his subordinates that being confined to this location meant that it was only a matter of time before the superior Union numbers led to their victory.


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