At the outset of the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864, the stakes could not have been higher for the future of the United States of America.
General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia still remained capable of defeating the Army of the Potomac and driving it back across the Rapidan River. If General Ulysses S. Grant’s spring campaign ended in failure, then it’s extremely likely that President Lincoln wouldn’t have been reelected in November. Lincoln firmly believed his successor would have sought peace immediately and such a peace would have meant an end to the Union.
Reeves' new book, A Fire in the Wilderness: The First Battle Between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, depicts the initial bloody showdown between the two most celebrated military leaders of the Civil War. John will discuss the performance of the two generals and why this battle marked the beginning of the end for the Confederate States of America and changed the course of American history.
John Reeves has been a teacher, editor, and writer for over
25 years. The Civil War, in particular, has been his passion. His first book, The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee, was published in 2018. John’s articles on Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant have been featured in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and on the History News Network. Earlier in his career, he taught European and American history at various colleges in Chicago, the Bronx, and London. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Economics from Syracuse University in 1984. Later, he received an MA in European History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and pursued a PhD in History at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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