The Civil War Preview: Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, VA, 1864
Reverberations: Spotsylvania Court House - J.R. Montgomery (Madison, Mississippi)
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, sometimes more simply referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania, was the second major battle in Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War. Following the bloody but inconclusive Battle of the Wilderness, Grant's army disengaged from Confederate General Robert E. Lee's army and moved to the southeast, attempting to lure Lee into battle under more favorable conditions. Elements of Lee's army beat the Union army to the critical crossroads of Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, and began entrenching. Fighting occurred on and off from May 8 through May 21, 1864, as Grant tried various schemes to break the Confederate line. In the end, the battle was tactically inconclusive, but with almost 32,000 casualties on both sides, it was the costliest battle of the campaign.