- Jul 30, 2019
It was not technically a siege as Lee was not surrounded. However, to just bail and leave Petersburg and Richmond defenseless was not a tenable option until forced to do so. Grant even though he was stuck in this trench situation he didn't want, was always working to extend the works and stretch Lee to the breaking point.
Grant's plan would have forced the ANV into some very dire and unpalatable options. The flank failures gave Lee more breathing room, but Grant pressed too hard and kept the initiative. I'll say it again: once you get past the sloganeering simplifications (and veiled excuses\insults), this campaign was (on both sides) an amazing display of ability, adaptation, use of advantages, opportunities just missed, hard fighting, maneuver, and great commanders willing their battered armies forward in what everybody at the time considered the Championship Title Bout of the war. Now add in the election pressures on one side, and the crumbling resource issues on the other, and ... I'll say it yet again ... you have one of the most fascinating campaigns in all of military history to study!