This week in the Civil War | Fighting in Virginia; Sherman on the march

The New York Times reported May 11, 1864, that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Union army in Virginia was engaged in hard skirmishing at the Spotsylvania Courthouse.

The dispatch said that, although no all-out battle had been fought, shooting was intense and wounded Union soldiers were being taken out via a supply train for medical care.

The Times added in a subsequent dispatch two days later that Grant’s Army of the Potomac was in “superb condition and spirits — in fact, was never before in any such condition” amid the renewed fighting in Virginia.

Added the pro-Union newspaper: “We are going on to Richmond, depend upon it; at least, some more formidable obstacle than has yet appeared will have to present itself to stop us.”

That obstacle would be a Confederate army with considerable strength to fight on for many months to come.

Elsewhere, Union Gen. William T. Sherman marched out in early May 1864 from Tennessee toward northwestern Georgia with the ultimate aim of capturing the city of Atlanta.