The Battle That Was Robert E. Lee's Last Stand

Lee was forced to withdraw to Petersburg. It was realistically his last stand, and his only chance to block Grants advance on Richmond. It was however, doomed to failure from the start. Grant enjoyed unlimited supplies, unlimited manpower. His engineers built rail lines almost to the front line trenches to keep his troops supplies, while the Confederates had little and no chance of resupply. The inevitiable occurred on April 2nd 1865 when the Union breached confederate lines and the confederates were forced to withdraw from Petersburg and Richmond, thus effectively ending the war
Once Lee's troops had arrived at Petersburg, both armies dug in for a long-term siege. This was a battle that Lee knew he could not win. Nonetheless, this was a battle he had no choice, but in which to participate. If Petersburg fell, Richmond was doomed. The Union forces had all the advantages in the siege. Its forces were well supplied both in armaments, food and clothing. The Union Engineers ran a railroad right behind the Union trenches. Regular passenger and freight trains supplied the Union troops regularly. At the same time Confederate troops were going hungry and were suffering a shortage in ammunition. Lee wrote, at one point: “If some change is not made and the commissary department reorganized I apprehend dire results. The physical strength of the men, if their courage survives must fail under this treatment.”
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