006w Eighteenth Corps Assaults Petersburg - JTS Campaign Petersburg
006w Eighteenth Corps Assaults PetersburgBy John Ferry
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(Small map, W stands for Weather data is used) The story of the 18th Corps' assault on Petersburg is a classic example of the perfect being the enemy of the good. The CSA armies under Lee and Beauregard were seriously out of position in the middle of June. Grant's unexpected crossing of the James River, combined with the reduction of Union forces around Cold Harbor, led to a convergence of blue forces on the key hub at Petersbug, with barely force in gray to resist. A skeleton force greeted Baldy Smith's corps when it showed up at Petersburg. A few batteries, some rag-tag cavalry and a lone brigade from Bermuda Hundred were all that was there. A determined assault could have literally walked over the defenses, as a cavalry division and a division of black infantry had already done, but Baldy decided to reconnoiter. And reconnoiter. And reconnoiter some more. It is difficult to determine if he was really being a perfectionist or if he was stalling, hoping for the Army of the Potomac to come and take over, as it eventually did. When the assault finally went in, late in the day, there were just enough confederates to stave off disaster.
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|jim pfleck||Slightly Pro Union||6|