In May 1864, the assault began. Grant's troops entered the Wilderness on May 5–and some of the worst fighting America has ever seen. The cavalry of J.E.B. Stuart–the eyes and ears of Lee's army–were engaged south of the Wilderness, and Lee attacked without knowing the full size of the 120,000-strong army Grant commanded. Had Grant moved faster he might have been able to escape the battle, but the sheer size of his armies, supply trains, and support teams limited his mobility. The battle erupted in the dense rolling underbrush known as the Wilderness. Hundreds fell, then thousands, then tens of thousands. Brush fires erupted throughout the area and claimed as many men as bullets and shells did.Unlike previous Union generals, Grant advanced after the bloody two days, and the two armies met again on May 8, 1864, at Spotsylvania Court House. Exhausted, both
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