You Mr. Hughes are right! Your key word is “likely” and that is why Grant needs Richmond and believed he could bottle up Lee there fatally. The unfair question asked many times here is: what was the main objective, Lee or Richmond. The correct answer is BOTH. It likely could not be understood by Grant and others to separate one from the other. Few believed it possible Lee would quit Richmond without a siege. Few believed the near fatal siege would happen at Petersburg. Lee was not going to behaves like a Pemberton at Vicksburg which surprised Grant and others.