The Union’s Army of the Potomac had suffered a terrible loss of men in May, 1864 in battles at The Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse, but General Ulysses S. Grant was committed to bringing the bloody and costly War Between the States to an end before the year ended. The Confederates had suffered considerable losses as well. Grant’s plan to prevent Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia from being reinforced as Grant moved his troops toward Richmond was to have diversions in other places. Union General Franz Sigel had fought forces under Confederate General John Breckinridge at New Market in the Shenandoah Valley in mid-May. Greatly outnumbered, Breckinridge had called up cadets from the Virginia Military Institute, some of them boys as young as 15, and most of whom were killed or wounded. But they defeated Sigel.
Read the entire article in the June 19th issue of the Express.