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Confederate Battery V, Photo courtesy of


Grant and Lee: From Cold Harbor to Petersburg
May 14-17, 2018

A BGES Critical Civil War Campaign Studies, featuring Gordon Rhea on his first tour associated with his new book

In a month’s time, the complexion of the Civil War had changed. With Lieutenant General US Grant in command of the Union armies, the mighty military force of the United States had pushed back the Confederate forces on every front and horrific casualty figures documented the bloody butcher’s bill that was required to bring the rebellion to an end. The slaughter of June 3 in front of well-laid trenches at Cold Harbor had proven to Grant that never would Lee be more dangerous than when he was cornered, and so plans were made to shift the weight of the blow to supply lines feeding into Richmond from Petersburg while disrupting Lee’s primary supply lines from the Shenandoah Valley and Lynchburg. The logistics were intimidating, and the risk of a devastating attack on his shifting forces made this Grant’s greatest gamble.

Gordon Rhea is the nation’s foremost authority on the decisive Grant versus Lee campaign. This is his first field tour of his fifth and final book that started with his Wilderness narrative more than 20 years ago. The book is masterful, readable, and crystal clear—his field style is the same. He has private property access made available during his precise and comprehensive years of field research. Gordon is a practicing attorney and he does few tours; don’t miss the chance to be on his very first tour of this aspect of the Overland Campaign. PLEASE NOTE YOU MUST BE PREPARED FOR EXTENSIVE WALKING, AS MANY SITES ARE AWAY FROM PAVED ROADS. IF YOU WALK IN, YOU MUST BE PREPARED TO WALK OUT.



Gordon Rhea is a practicing attorney from Mt. Pleasant, SC. He has completed 6 books related to the Overland Campaign that pitted US Grant against RE Lee. The award-winning series published by LSU Press has now been completed with the recent release of On to Petersburg, Grant and Lee June 4-15, 1864. Rhea brings the same analytic skills so essential for good trial work to his analysis of military campaigns–exhaustive research, the lessons of precedent and the logical outcomes from well thought out plans and the unexpected curveballs that are known in the military as “friction.” Personalities count in law and in leadership–Rhea recognizes both bringing a delightful summary that both clients and juries appreciate and respect.