This week marks the 144th anniversary of the commencement of the so-called Overland Campaign. . .six weeks of unprecedented and unrelenting combat that began with the confused and chaotic fighting in the Wilderness, continued with the savage blood-letting at Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor, and concluded with the fierce combat at Petersburg. I've long considered this month and a half to be the darkest, so to speak, of the entire war. . .at least in the East. The casualty count for both sides was unimaginable.
On May 3, 1864, the Army of the Potomac began the campaign when its advance elements crossed the Rapidan River in a campaign that initially sought the capture of Richmond, but quickly turned to the destruction of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
All my posts this week will focus on the role played the 48th Pennsylvania during the first week and a half of May 1864. The following posts provide soldier accounts of the battle as well as letters home, with the final post being a list of the regiment's casualties sustained at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania. Throughout these engagements, the regiment was attached to the First Brigade/Second Division/Ninth Army Corps.