Peninsula Campaign and Seven Days Battles

Thomas' Legion
American Civil War HOMEPAGE
American Civil War
Causes of the Civil War : What Caused the Civil War
Organization of Union and Confederate Armies: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery
Civil War Navy: Union Navy and Confederate Navy
American Civil War: The Soldier's Life
Civil War Turning Points
American Civil War: Casualties, Battles and Battlefields
Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
Civil War Generals
American Civil War Desertion and Deserters: Union and Confederate
Civil War Prisoner of War: Union and Confederate Prison History
Civil War Reconstruction Era and Aftermath
American Civil War Genealogy and Research
Civil War
American Civil War Pictures - Photographs
African Americans and American Civil War History
American Civil War Store
American Civil War Polls
NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY
North Carolina Civil War History
North Carolina American Civil War Statistics, Battles, History
North Carolina Civil War History and Battles
North Carolina Civil War Regiments and Battles
North Carolina Coast: American Civil War
HISTORY OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
Western North Carolina and the American Civil War
Western North Carolina: Civil War Troops, Regiments, Units
North Carolina: American Civil War Photos
Cherokee Chief William Holland Thomas
HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS
Cherokee Indian Heritage, History, Culture, Customs, Ceremonies, and Religion
Cherokee Indians: American Civil War
History of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation
Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and Beliefs
Researching your Cherokee Heritage
Civil War Diary, Memoirs, Letters, and Newspapers
American Civil War Store: Books, DVDs, etc.

Civil War Peninsula Campaign

American Civil War Peninsula Campaign and Seven Days Battles

Setting the Stage

Peninsula Campaign Map
Peninsula Campaign Map.jpg
Civil War Peninsula Campaign and Seven Days Battles Map

1862 Seven Days Battles Map
1862 Seven Days Battles Map.jpg
Civil War Peninsula Campaign : Seven Days Battles Map

The Peninsula Campaign (also known as the Peninsular Campaign) during the American Civil War was a major Union operation launched in southeastern Virginia from March through July 1862, and it was the first large-scale offensive in the Eastern Theater. The operation, commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, was an amphibious turning movement intended to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond by circumventing the Confederate States Army in Northern Virginia. McClellan was initially successful against the equally cautious General Joseph E. Johnston, but the emergence of the aggressive General Robert E. Lee turned the subsequent Seven Days Battles into a humiliating Union defeat.

 

The Seven Days Battles was a series of six major battles over the seven days from June 25 to July 1, 1862, near Richmond, Virginia. On June 1, Lee, having replaced Johnston who was wounded on May 31, drove the invading Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by McClellan, away from Richmond and into a retreat down the Virginia Peninsula.

(L) George B. McClellan and (R) Joseph E. Johnston
Peninsula Campaign.jpg
Opposing Commanding Generals during Peninsula Campaign

(L) Union General George B. McClellan and (R) Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston were opposing commanding generals during the Peninsula Campaign, but Johnston, an overly cautious commander, would be seriously wounded on May 31 and replaced by Lee on June 1. While McClellan was well-known through the ranks for continually requesting additional troops from Washington, it was his refusal to pursue a retreating Lee following the Battle of Antietam that finally forced the patient hand of President Lincoln. Even First Lady Mary Todd showed her disapproval of McClellan in late 1862 by writing her husband and encouraging him to dismiss the ineffective Union commander. Lincoln would remove McClellan and place the Union forces under the command of Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside on November 7, 1862.

The Battles

Seven Days Battles Map
Seven Days Battles Map.jpg
Civil War Peninsula Campaign and Seven Days Battles Map

General Robert E. Lee and Fort Monroe
General Robert E. Lee and Fort Monroe.jpg
(Historical Marker)

The Peninsula Campaign [March-July 1862] consisted of the following battles: Hampton Roads (aka Monitor vs. Virginia, Monitor v. Merrimack, and Battle of the Ironclads), Yorktown, Williamsburg (aka Fort Magruder), Eltham's Landing (aka Barhamsville, West Point), Drewry's Bluff (aka Fort Darling, Fort Drewry), Hanover Court House (aka Slash Church), and Seven Pines (aka Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Station). The following battles (commonly referred to as the Seven Days Battles or Seven Days Battles Around Richmond) completed or concluded the Peninsula Campaign: Oak Grove (aka French’s Field, King’s School House), Beaver Dam Creek (aka Mechanicsville, Ellerson’s Mill), Gaines' Mill (aka First Cold Harbor), Garnetts & Goldings Farm, Savage's Station, Glendale (aka Nelson’s Farm, Frayser’s Farm, Charles City Crossroads, White Oak Swamp, New Market Road, Riddell's Shop), and Malvern Hill (aka Poindexter’s Farm).

 

The second phase of the Peninsula Campaign, consequently, took a negative turn for the Union when Lee launched fierce counterattacks just east of Richmond in the Seven Days Battles (June 25 – July 1, 1862). Although they are formally considered part of the Peninsula Campaign, the final battles of June 25 to July 1, with Lee in command and on the offensive against McClellan, are popularly known as the Seven Days Battles.

The Campaign

Opposing Commanding Generals McClellan and Lee
Seven Days Battles.jpg
Civil War Peninsula Campaign: Opposing Commanding Generals during Seven Days Battles

Instead of advancing through northern Virginia, where McClellan was sure huge rebel armies lurked, the Union commander proposed instead to ship his 121,500-man Army of the Potomac (including 44 artillery batteries, 1,150 wagons, over 15,000 horses, and tons of equipment and supplies) to the tip of the York-James Peninsula by sea, and then fight his way west to Richmond. The Peninsula Campaign began in March 1862 - more than seven months after McClellan took command. McClellan, however, had counted on a larger force and aid from the navy on the James River. The administration withheld 45,000 troops to protect Washington, D.C., and the navy was unable to help because of the menace of the Merrimack and Confederate shore batteries.

1862 Civil War Peninsula Campaign Map
Civil War Peninsula Campaign Map.jpg
(Courtesy pbs.org)

Map of McClellan's plan of attack
Peninsula Campaign Map.jpg
Civil War Peninsula Campaign Map

(Right) Map of McClellan's plan of attack for the Peninsula Campaign. Courtesy National Park Service.

McClellan landed his army at Fort Monroe and moved northwest, up the Virginia Peninsula. Confederate Brig. Gen. John B. Magruder's defensive position on the Warwick Line caught McClellan by surprise. His hopes for a quick advance foiled, McClellan ordered his army to prepare for a siege of Yorktown. Just before the siege preparations were completed, the Confederates, now under the direct command of Johnston, began a withdrawal toward Richmond.


The first heavy fighting of the campaign occurred in the Battle of Williamsburg, in which the Union troops managed some tactical victories, but the Confederates continued their withdrawal. An amphibious flanking movement to Eltham's Landing was ineffective in cutting off the Confederate retreat. In the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, an attempt by the U.S. Navy to reach Richmond by way of the James River was repulsed.

As McClellan's army reached the outskirts of Richmond, a minor battle occurred at Hanover Court House, but it was followed by a surprise attack by Johnston at the Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks. The battle was inconclusive, with heavy casualties, but it had lasting effects on the campaign. Johnston was wounded, Battle of Seven Pines, and replaced on June 1 by the more aggressive Robert E. Lee, who reorganized his army and prepared for offensive action in the final battles of June 25 to July 1. (See Seven Days Battles.)

The Three Phases

Peninsula Campaign Map
Civil War Peninsula Campaign Map.jpg
Map of Union and Confederate battlefield positions from May to July 1862

Map of Lee's plan of attack for Seven Days Battles
Map Lee's plan attack for Seven Days Battles.jpg
Civil War Seven Days Battles Map

The Peninsula Campaign [March-July 1862] unfolded in three phases. The early Union advance was marked by Confederate resistance behind entrenchments across the peninsula from Yorktown. On April 5, McClellan besieged Yorktown, which was evacuated on May 3. He then pushed slowly forward, fighting at Williamsburg on May 5, reaching and straddling the Chickahominy River on May 20 and facing a strengthened Confederate force under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston.

 

Help expected from Union Gen. Irvin McDowell's 40,000 men was lost to McClellan in May when Confederate Gen. T. J. ("Stonewall") Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign scattered or immobilized the Union armies before Washington. The first phase of the campaign ended with the indecisive two-day Battle of Fair Oaks (or Battle of Seven Pines), May 31 and June 1. Johnston was wounded on June 1 and Robert E. Lee succeeded to his command.

 

Despite claiming victory at Seven Pines, McClellan was shaken by the experience. He redeployed all of his army except for the V Corps south of the river, and although he continued to plan for a siege and the capture of Richmond, he lost the strategic initiative and never regained it. 

(Map) Second Phase of Peninsula Campaign
Seven Days Battles Map Civil War.jpg
Civil War Seven Days Battles Map

Map of McClellan's change of base
Map of McClellan's change of base.jpg
Civil War Virginia Peninsula Campaign Map

Lee used the month-long pause in McClellan's advance to fortify the defenses of Richmond and extend them south to the James River at Chaffin's Bluff. On the south side of the James River, defensive lines were built south to a point below Petersburg. The total length of the new defensive line was about 30 miles (50 km).

 

After Fair Oaks came the second phase, three weeks without fighting, marked by Confederate Gen. JEB. Stuart's spectacular cavalry raid around the Union army, from June 13-15.

 

The second phase of the Peninsula Campaign took a negative turn for the Union when Lee launched fierce counterattacks just east of Richmond.

 

McClellan, reinforced, intended to retake the offensive, but Lee forestalled him and opened the third phase of the campaign by attacking the Union right at Mechanicsville on June 26. This began the Seven Days Battles, during which McClellan had changed his base to the James River, fending off waves of Confederate attacks as the Union Army retreated to its base at Harrison's Landing.

1862 Peninsula Campaign and Seven Days Battles Map
Virginia Civil War Battles Map.gif
Virginia Civil War Battles in 1862 Map

Contemporary sketch of McClellan's withdrawal
Contemporary sketch of McClellan's withdrawal.jpg
(Click to Enlarge)

The Seven Days began on June 25, 1862, with a Union attack in the minor Battle of Oak Grove, but McClellan quickly lost the initiative as Lee began a series of attacks at Beaver Dam Creek (Mechanicsville) on June 26, Gaines' Mill on June 27, the minor actions at Garnett's and Golding's Farm on June 27 and June 28, and the attack on the Union rear guard at Savage's Station on June 29. McClellan's Army of the Potomac continued its retreat toward the safety of Harrison's Landing on the James River. Lee's final opportunity to intercept the Union Army was at the Battle of Glendale on June 30, but poorly executed orders allowed his enemy to escape to a strong defensive position on Malvern Hill. At the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, Lee launched futile frontal assaults and suffered heavy casualties in the face of strong infantry and artillery defenses.

 

Although none of these battles were significant Confederate tactical victories (and the Battle of Malvern Hill on the last day was a significant Confederate defeat), the tenacity of Lee's attacks and the sudden appearance of Stonewall Jackson's "foot cavalry" on his western flank unnerved McClellan, who withdrew his forces and returned to a base on the James River. With the appointment, during July, of Gen. Henry W. Halleck to command all land forces of the United States, the Army of the Potomac began its withdrawal from the peninsula.

Seven Days Battles Around Richmond Map
Seven Days Battles Around Richmond Map.jpg
Union and Confederate Army movements and positions map

First Marine Medal of Honor Recipient
First Marine Medal of Honor Recipient.jpg
(Click to Enlarge)

Lincoln later ordered the army to return to the Washington, D.C., area to support Maj. Gen. John Pope's army in the Northern Virginia Campaign and the Second Battle of Bull Run. The Virginia Peninsula was relatively quiet until May 1864, when Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler again invaded as part of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign.

 

Casualties

 

Confederate casualties for the Peninsula Campaign (excluding the Seven Days Battles) were approximately 9,500; Union losses exceeded 11,000. Confederate casualties during the Seven Days Battles, furthermore, were approximately 20,000: 3,494 killed, 15,758 wounded, and 952 captured or missing; Union losses were nearly 16,000: 1,734 killed, 8,066 wounded, and 6,055 captured or missing. The Union forces, however, greatly outnumbered the Confederates at the start of the campaign; toward its close, consequently, the opposing forces were nearly equal. Hence, the combined Union and Confederate casualties for the Peninsula Campaign, including the Seven Days Battles, exceeded 56,000. 56,000 is considered a modest total, with some sources indicating casualties as high as 71,000.

Aftermath

Army of the Potomac at Harrison's Landing
Army of the Potomac at Harrison's Landing.jpg
(Click to Enlarge)

The Seven Days Battles ended the Peninsula Campaign. The Army of the Potomac encamped around Berkeley Plantation, birthplace of William Henry Harrison. The Union defensive position was a strong one that Lee did not consider attacking, withdrawing instead to the defenses of Richmond. With its back to the James River, the army was protected by Union gunboats, but suffered heavily from heat, humidity, and disease. In August, they were withdrawn by order of President Lincoln to reinforce the Army of Virginia in the Northern Virginia Campaign and the Second Battle of Bull Run.

Chickahominy River & Seven Days Battles
Chickahominy River & Seven Days Battles.jpg
(Historical Marker)

The effects of the Seven Days Battles were widespread. After a successful start on the Peninsula that foretold an early end to the war, Northern morale was crushed by McClellan's retreat. Despite heavy casualties and clumsy tactical performances by Lee and his generals, Confederate morale skyrocketed, and Lee was emboldened to continue his aggressive strategy through Second Bull Run and the Maryland Campaign.


McClellan's previous position as general-in-chief of all the Union armies, vacant since March, was filled on July 23, 1862, by Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, although McClellan did retain command of the Army of the Potomac. Lee reacted to the performances of his subordinates by a reorganization of his army and by forcing the reassignment of Holmes and Magruder out of Virginia.

 

In his official report of the campaign Lee stated: "Under ordinary circumstances the Federal Army should have been destroyed. Its escape was due to the want of correct and timely information. This fact, attributable chiefly to the character of the country, enabled Gen. McClellan skillfully to conceal his retreat and to add much to the obstructions with which nature had beset the way of our pursuing columns." But his other objective had been achieved—Richmond was safe, at least for the time being.

 

McClellan in a letter to his wife: "My conscience is clear at least to this extent—viz.: that I have honestly done the best I could; I shall leave it to others to decide whether that was the best that could have been done—& if they find any who can do better am perfectly willing to step aside & give way."

Seven Days Battles Around Richmond Map
Seven Days Battles Map Civil War Virginia.jpg
Civil War Seven Days Battles Around Richmond Virginia Map

Analysis

Peninsular Campaign Map
Peninsular Campaign Map.jpg
Civil War Peninsular Campaign Map

Both sides claimed victory, when McClellan and Johnston initially opposed each other during the Peninsula Campaign, but neither side's accomplishment was impressive. George B. McClellan's advance on Richmond was halted and the Army of Northern Virginia fell back into the Richmond defensive works. Despite claiming victory, McClellan was shaken by the experience. He wrote to his wife, "I am tired of the sickening sight of the battlefield, with its mangled corpses & poor suffering wounded! Victory has no charms for me when purchased at such cost." He redeployed all of his army except for the V Corps south of the river, and although he continued to plan for a siege and the capture of Richmond, he lost the strategic initiative. An offensive begun by the new Confederate commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee, would be planned while the Union troops passively sat in the outskirts of Richmond.
 
(Right) This black and white map of the Peninsula Campaign, often times referred to as the Peninsular Campaign, shows Union and Confederate Army movements and positions from May to July 1862.
 

The Seven Days Battles of June 25 through July 1, 1862, drove the Union Army back to the James River and saved the Confederate capital. The change in leadership of the Confederate Army in the field, from Joe Johnston to Robert E. Lee, as a result of Seven Pines had a profound effect on the war. On June 24, 1862, McClellan's massive Army of the Potomac was within 6 miles of the Confederate capital of Richmond; Union soldiers wrote that they could hear church bells ringing in the city. Within 90 days, however, McClellan had been driven from the Peninsula, Pope had been soundly beaten at the Second Battle of Bull Run, and battle lines were 20 miles from the Union capital in Washington. It would take almost two more years before the Union Army again got that close to Richmond, and almost three years before it captured it.

McClellan Withdrawals
General McClellan Civil War Battle Commander.jpg
(Historical Marker)

McClellan, Peninsula Campaign, Civil War, and Lincoln

 

McClellan's Peninsula Campaign in 1862 ended in failure, with retreats from attacks by General Robert E. Lee's smaller army and an unfulfilled plan to seize the Confederate capital of Richmond. His performance at the bloody Battle of Antietam blunted Lee's invasion of Maryland, but allowed Lee to eke out a precarious tactical draw and avoid destruction, despite being outnumbered. As a result, McClellan's leadership skills during battles were questioned by President Abraham Lincoln, who eventually removed him from command, first as general-in-chief, then from the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln was famously quoted as saying, "If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time!"

Lincoln and McClellan in 1862
Lincoln and McClellan in 1862.jpg
(Library of Congress)

General McClellan also failed to maintain the trust of Lincoln, and proved to be frustratingly derisive of, and insubordinate to, his commander-in-chief. After he was relieved of command, McClellan became the unsuccessful Democratic nominee opposing Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election.

Lee, Seven Days Battles, and Civil War

 

At the outbreak of war, Robert E. Lee was appointed to command all of Virginia's forces, but upon the formation of the Confederate States Army, he was named one of its first five full generals. Lee did not wear the insignia of a Confederate general, but only the three stars of a Confederate colonel, equivalent to his last U.S. Army rank. He did not intend to wear a general's insignia until the Civil War had been won and he could be promoted, in peacetime, to general in the Confederate Army.

 

Lee's first field assignment was commanding Confederate forces in western Virginia, where he was defeated at the Battle of Cheat Mountain and was widely blamed for Confederate setbacks.  He was then sent to organize the coastal defenses along the Carolina and Georgia seaboard, where he was hampered by the lack of an effective Confederate navy. Once again blamed by the press, he became military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, former U.S. Secretary of War. While in Richmond, Lee was ridiculed as the 'King of Spades' for his excessive digging of trenches around the capitol. These trenches, however, would play an important role in battles near the end of the war.

General Robert E. Lee in 1863
General Robert E. Lee Peninsula Campaign.jpg
(Library of Congress)

In the spring of 1862, during the Peninsula Campaign, the Union Army of the Potomac under George McClellan advanced upon Richmond from Fort Monroe, eventually reaching the eastern edges of the Confederate capital along the Chickahominy River. Following the wounding of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston at the Battle of Seven Pines, on June 1, 1862, Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia, his first opportunity to lead an army in the field. Newspaper editorials of the day objected to his appointment due to concerns that Lee would not be aggressive and would wait for the Union army to come to him. Early in the war his men also referred to him as "Granny Lee" because of his allegedly timid style of command. After the Seven Days Battles and until the end of the war, however, his men respectfully referred to him as "Marse Robert." Lee oversaw substantial strengthening of Richmond's defenses during the first three weeks of June and then launched a series of attacks, the Seven Days Battles, against McClellan's forces. Lee's attacks resulted in heavy Confederate casualties and they were marred by clumsy tactical performances by his subordinates, but his aggressive actions thwarted McClellan, who retreated to a point on the James River where Union naval forces were in control. These successes led to a rapid turn-around of public opinion and the newspaper editorials quickly changed their tune on Lee's aggressiveness. Following his defeat at Gettysburg, Lee sent a letter of resignation to Pres. Davis on August 8, 1863, but Davis refused Lee's request. On January 31, 1865, Lee was promoted to general-in-chief of Confederate forces.

Peninsula Campaign with Summary Timeline of Principal Events

March17, 1862 Embarkation of the Army of the Potomac commenced at Alexandria, Va.
March 26, 1862 Confederate Department of Henrico, under command of Brig. Gen. John H. Winder, extended to embrace Petersburg and vicinity.
March 27, 1862 General Joseph E. Johnston, C. S. Army, ordered to re-enforce the Army of the Peninsula.
March 31, 1862 Blenker's division ordered to Mountain (Frémont's) Department.
April 1-2, 1862 Headquarters Army of the Potomac transferred to vicinity of Fort Monroe.
April 4, 1862 The First Army Corps (McDowell's) detached from Army of the Potomac and merged into Department of the Rappahannock. The Fifth Army Corps (Banks') merged into the Department of the Shenandoah.
  Skirmish at Howard's Mill, near Cockletown.
April 5, 1862 - May 4, 1862 Siege of Yorktown.
April 11, 1862 Confederate naval operations in Hampton Roads.
April 12, 1862 Command of General Joseph E. Johnston, C. S. Army, extended over the Departments of Norfolk and the Peninsula.
April 22, 1862 Franklin's division arrives at Yorktown.
May 4, 1862 Skirmishes near Williamsburg.
May 5, 1862 Battle of Williamsburg.
May 6, 1862 Williamsburg occupied by the Union forces.
May 7, 1862 Engagement at West Point, Barhamsville, or Eltham's Landing.
May 7 -8, 1862 Reconnaissance to Mulberry Point, James River.
May 8, 1862 Naval demonstration upon Sewell's Point.
May 9, 1862 Norfolk evacuated by the Confederate forces.
  Skirmish at Slatersville.
May 10, 1862 Norfolk and Portsmouth occupied by the Union forces.
May 13, 1862 Skirmish at Baltimore Cross-Roads, near New Kent Court-House.
May 15, 1862 Engagement at Fort Darling, James River.
May 17, 1862 Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell ordered to move upon Richmond in co-operation with Major-General McClellan.
  Expedition up the Pamunkey River.
May 18, 1862 Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter, U.S. Army, assumes command of Fifth Army Corps (reorganized).
  Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin, U.S. Army, assumes command of Sixth Army Corps.
May 18 - 19, 1862 Reconnaissance toward Old Church.
May 19, 1862 Skirmish at City Point, James River.
  Skirmish at Gaines' Mill.
May 20 -23, 1862 Operations about Bottom's Bridge, Chickahominy River.
May 21, 1862 Advance across Bottom's Bridge.
May 22, 1862 Reconnaissance to New Castle and Hanovertown Ferries.
May 23, 1862 Reconnaissance from Bottom's Bridge toward Richmond.
  Reconnaissance from Bottom's Bridge to the Turkey Island Creek Bridge.
  Skirmish at Ellison's Mill, near Mechanicsville.
  Skirmish at Hogan's, near New Bridge.
May 24, 1862 McDowell's orders to move upon Richmond suspended. Skirmish at New Bridge. Skirmish at Seven Pines. Skirmish at Mechanicsville.
  Reconnaissance toward Hanover Court-House.
May 25 -26, 1862 Expedition from Bottom's Bridge to James River.
May 26, 1862 Reconnaissance toward Hanover Court-House. 27, 1862.
  Skirmish at Slash Church.
  Skirmish at White Oaks.
May 27 -29,1862 Engagement at Hanover Court-House (27th) and operations (28th-29th) in that vicinity.
May 28, 1862 Virginia Central Railroad Bridge, on South Anna River, destroyed by Union forces.
  Destruction of Confederate supplies at Ashland.
May 29, 1862 Skirmish near Seven Pines.
  Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad Bridge, on South Anna River, destroyed.
May 30, 1862 Skirmish near Fair Oaks.
  Skirmish near Zuni.
May 31 - June 1, 1862 Battle of Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines.
June 1, 1862 General Robert E. Lee, C. S. Army, assumes command of the Army of Northern Virginia.
  The Department of Virginia extended and embraced in Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's command, Maj. Gen. John E. Wool, U.S. Army, being assigned to the Middle Department, and Maj. Gen. John A. Dix, U.S. Army, to command at Fort Monroe.
June 1 - 2, 1862 Reconnaissance beyond Seven Pines.
June 2, 1862 Expedition to Wormley's Ferry, Pamunkey River.
June 3 -7, 1862 Reconnaissance to the James River to communicate with the Union fleet.
June 5, 1862 Skirmish at New Bridge.
June 7, 1862 Reconnaissance on east bank of the Chickahominy.
June 8, 1862 Skirmish near Fair Oaks.
  Major-General McDowell ordered, under conditions stated, to operate in the direction of Richmond.
  Reconnaissance on the New Market Road.
June 11, 1862 Re-enforcements sent from Army of Northern Virginia to the Valley District.
June 12 - 13, 1862 McCall's division re-enforces the Army of the Potomac.
June 13 - 15, 1862 Stuart's raid, including skirmishes at Hawes' Shop, Old Church, and Garlick's Landing.
June 15, 1862 Reconnaissance to vicinity of New Market.
  Skirmish near Seven Pines.
  Parley between Brig. Gen. Howell Cobb, C. S. Army, and Col. Thomas M. Key, U.S. Army.
June 17, 1862 Jackson's command moves from vicinity of Staunton and Weyer's Cave for the Peninsula.
June 18, 1862 Skirmish near Fair Oaks.
  Skirmish on Nine Mile Road, near Richmond.
June 19, 1862 Skirmish on the Charles City Road, near Richmond.
June 20, 1862 Skirmish near New Bridge.
  Affair at Gill's Bluff, James River.
June 21, 1862 The Confederate Department of North Carolina extended to the south bank of James River.
  Skirmish near Fair Oaks Station.
June 22 - 23, 1862 Reconnaissance to the left of White Oak Swamp.
June 23, 1862 Operations about New Kent Court-House.
June 24, 1862 Skirmish near Mechanicsville.
June 25 - July 1, 1862 "The Seven Days Battles."
June 27, 1862 Jackson re-enforces Army of Northern Virginia.
June 28, 1862 Expedition from Fort Monroe to open communication with Army of the Potomac.
July 2, 1862 Skirmish near New Kent Court-House. Skirmish at Malvern Hill. Affair near Haxall's Landing.
July 3, 1862 Reconnaissance from Harrison's Landing, on Charles City Road.
July 3 - 4, 1862 Skirmishes near Herring Creek, or Harrison's Landing.
July 4, 1862 Reconnaissance from Harrison's Landing.
  Skirmish at Westover.
July 5 - 6, 1862 Operations against Union shipping, James River.
July 7 - 9, 1862 Reconnaissance from Yorktown.
July 9, 1862 Reconnaissance on the Long Bridge Road.
July 10, 1862 Reconnaissance from Harrison's Landing toward White Oak Swamp and skirmish.
July 11, 1862 Reconnaissance from Harrison's Landing beyond Charles City Court-House, Va.
July 16, 1862 Reconnaissance from Westover, on the Richmond Road.
July 22, 1862 Maj. Gen. John A. Dix assumes command of the Seventh Army Corps, Department of Virginia.
  Maj. Gen. A. E. Burnside assumes command of the Ninth Army Corps.
  Affair near Westover.
July 22 - 30, 1862 Scout in King William, King and Queen, and Gloucester Counties.
July 23, 1862 Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck assumes command of the Armies of the United States.
July 29, 1862 Reconnaissance from Harrison's Landing to Saint Mary's Church.
July 30, 1862 McClellan ordered to remove his sick, etc.
  Reconnaissance from Harrison's Landing to Jones' Ford, Chickahominy River.
July 31 - August 1, 1862 Attack on Union camps and shipping between Shirley and Harrison's Landing.
August 2 - 8, 1862 Reconnaissance from Harrison's Landing and reoccupation of Malvern Hill by the Union forces.
August 3, 1862 Reconnaissance on south side of James River and skirmish at Sycamore Church.
  McClellan ordered to withdraw his forces to Aquia Creek.
August 4 - 5, 1862 Reconnaissance from Coggins Point beyond Sycamore Church.
August 5, 1862 Skirmish at White Oak Swamp Bridge.
  Engagement at Malvern Hill.
August 6, 1862 Skirmish at Malvern Hill.
August 13, 1862 Preliminary orders issued for the movement of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Peninsula.
August 14 - 15, 1862 The Third and Fifth Army Corps move from Harrison's Landing for Aquia Creek
August 14 - 19, 1862 Operations of the cavalry covering the rear of the Army of the Potomac from Harrison's Landing to Williamsburg.
August 17, 1862 Reconnaissance toward Forge Bridge.
August 20, 1862 The Fifth Army Corps embarked at Newport News.
August 21, 1862 The Third Army Corps sail from Yorktown.
August 23, 1862 The Sixth Army Corps embarked at Fort Monroe.
August 26, 1862 The Second Army Corps left Fort Monroe.

Richmond in History and Memory

Besides being the political center and lifeline for the Southern Confederacy, Richmond was the most vital and strategic Southern city that was home to major medical and manufacturing production. It manufactured approximately half of the South's total domestic production of artillery and was a primary supply depot for troops operating on the Confederacy's northeastern frontier. It held the Confederacy's largest hospital, was home to nearly 450 bordellos and 7,500 full-time prostitutes (Washington hosted almost an equal number of bordellos and prostitutes), and was only 110 miles from Washington, D.C.

Richmond, Virginia, 1862
Civil War Richmond, Virginia, 1862.jpg
(Library of Congress)

The Civil War (1861-1865) remains the central, most defining event in American history. Richmond, Virginia, was at the heart of the conflict. As the industrial and political capital of the Confederacy, Richmond was the physical and psychological prize over which two mighty American armies contended in bloody battle from 1861 to 1865. At stake were some of the founding principles of the United States as the growing nation divided over the existence and expansion of slavery. Only after the new Confederacy fired on a federal fort in Charleston harbor and Lincoln had called for troops to preserve the Union, did Virginia join the Confederacy. As war began, neither side anticipated the brutal clashes and home front destruction that brought death or injury to more than one million Americans and devastation to a broad landscape, much of it in Virginia.

Richmond, Virginia, in 1865
Richmond Civil War History.jpg
(Richmond National Battlefield Park)

(Photograph) Waterfront view of Richmond’s capitol building after the evacuation and fire in 1865.

 

Cannon boomed within earshot of Richmond. All of its residents saw their lives transformed. Wartime Richmond, swollen by government, the military, refugees, prisoners, and the wounded, lived with anxiety and hope. Martial law and rationing were routine. Disease claimed thousands.

 

Landowners outside Richmond saw their farms converted into battlefields. Previously unknown place-names like Cold Harbor, Gaines’ Mill, Malvern Hill, and New Market Heights attained national significance for the key battles that were fought in the vicinity of Richmond. Naval military history was made at the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff. Robert E. Lee fought his first battle as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia at Beaver Dam Creek in 1862; Ulysses S. Grant’s army experienced unprecedented futility on the bloody fields of Cold Harbor. Titans tangled repeatedly here. Earthworks scarred miles of farmland. Wheat fields became killing fields. Cemeteries started dotting the landscape. 

Confederate Capitol Building, Richmond, Virginia
Confederate Capitol Building.jpg
(Civil War Battlefields Then and Now)

(Picture) Virginia State House, used as the Capitol Building, and home of the Naval Department Offices Richmond, VA. 1863.

Situated at the head of navigation on the James River and only 176 kilometers (110 miles) from the Federal capital of Washington, Richmond had been a symbol and a prime psychological objective since the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. If the city were to be captured, southerners might lose their will to resist--so reasoned leaders on both sides. But there were even more compelling reasons why Richmond became a military target, for besides being the political center of the Southern Confederacy, it was a medical and manufacturing center, and the primary supply depot for troops operating on the Confederacy's northeastern frontier.

Civil War Washington to Richmond Map
Washington to Richmond Map Microsoft.jpg
(Microsoft Virtual Earth)

(Map) Reflects the short distance between the two nations' capitols.

 

Of the seven major thrusts launched against Richmond, two brought Union forces within sight of the city-George B. McClellan's Peninsular Campaign of 1862, culminating in the Seven Days Battles, and Grant's crushing Overland Campaign of 1864 which ultimately brought the Confederacy tumbling down.

 

By early 1862, Gen. George B. McClellan had forged around the "cowering regiments" that survived the First Battle of Manassas a ponderous but disciplined 100,000-man fighting machine called the Army of the Potomac. With it he moved by water to invest east central Virginia and capture Richmond. The operation was to have been assisted by an overland assault by troops under Gen. Irvin McDowell and coordinated with a water-borne move up the James River. A Union naval attack was halted on May 15 at Drewry's Bluff and by May 24, when McClellan was deployed within 10 kilometers (6 miles) of the Confederate capital, President Lincoln had become alarmed for Washington's safety and suspended McDowell's movement.

Confederate White House
Confederate White House.jpg
(Civil War Battlefields Then and Now)

(Photo) Confederate White House (Richmond, VA. 1863), home of Jefferson Davis and where Stephen Mallory attended Cabinet meetings.

Washington to Richmond
Washington & Richmond Map.jpg
(Click to Enlarge Map)

Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the Confederate commander, now believing that McClellan planned to stay north of the James River, decided to attack. On May 31, Johnston's troops fell on the Federals near Fair Oaks. Although the resulting battle proved indecisive, it did produce significant results for both armies. The already deliberate McClellan was made even more cautious than usual. More important, because of a serious wound sustained by General Johnston during the battle, President Jefferson Davis placed Gen. Robert E. Lee in command of the defending forces.

 

(Right) Map reflecting the short distance between the capitols of Washington (Washington City as it was referred to at the time) and Richmond.

 

McClellan, who had maintained a dangerous position astride the Chickahominy River expecting McDowell's corps to join him, hesitated too long. On June 26, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia attacked the Union right flank at Mechanicsville, and then suffered heavy losses in futile attacks against the strong Union positions on Beaver Dam Creek. Thus began the Seven Days Battles, a series of sidestepping withdrawals and holding actions that climaxed the Peninsular Campaign at Malvern Hill and enabled the Union army to avoid disaster by circling east of Richmond to the security of Federal gunboats on the James River at Harrison's Landing. When the Seven Days ended, some 35,000 soldiers, north and south, were casualties, and many on both sides probably shared the view of a young Georgian who wrote home: "I have seen, heard and felt many things in the last week that I never want to see, hear nor feel again...." 

Tredegar Iron Works
Tredegar Iron Works.jpg
(Richmond, Virginia)

(Historical Marker) Tredegar Iron Works: By 1860, the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond was the largest of its kind in the South, a fact that played a significant role in the decision to relocate the capital of the Confederacy from Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond in May 1861. Tredegar supplied high-quality munitions to the South during the war: manufactured railroad steam locomotives in the same period; produced the iron plating for the first Confederate ironclad warship, the CSS Virginia (ex-Merrimack) which fought in the historic Battle of Hampton Roads in March 1862; credited with the production of approximately 1,100 artillery pieces during the war which was about half of the South's total domestic production of artillery between the war years of 1861-1865; and  even produced a giant rail-mounted siege cannon during the conflict. This historic iron foundry in Richmond, Virginia, is now the location of a museum known as The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar.

For two years, while the armies fought indecisively in northern Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, Richmond entrenched and applauded Lee's unbroken successes in keeping northern armies at bay. In March 1864, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant assumed command of all Union armies in the field. Attaching himself to the Army of the Potomac, then under the command of Gen. George Gordon Meade, Grant embarked on an unyielding campaign against Richmond and the Army of Northern Virginia. Said Lee: "We must stop this army of Grant's before he gets to the James River. If he gets there it will become a siege, and then it will be a mere matter of time."

 

In a series of flanking movements designed to cut Lee off from the Confederate capital, the Union army slipped past the southerners at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna River, and Totopotomoy Creek, although it suffered heavy casualties. At Cold Harbor on June 3, 1864, Grant's massive frontal assaults against the strongly entrenched Confederate lines failed dismally, with appalling casualties. For 10 days the badly bruised Federals and hungry Confederates broiled in the trenches under 100-degree heat; then Grant silently withdrew, crossed the James River, and drove toward the important rail center of Petersburg, south of Richmond. 

Tredegar Iron Works
Tredegar Iron Works Civil War Virginia.gif
(Library of Congress)

(Photograph) Tredegar Iron Works, with footbridge to Neilson's Island, April 1865, by Alexander Gardener.

Throughout the late summer and fall Grant continued to threaten the outer defenses protecting Richmond and Petersburg. Several major assaults met with partial success, including the capture of Fort Harrison in September 1864. Winter weather eventually brought active operations to a close. Life in the trenches around the besieged cities became routine and humdrum. Just finding enough to eat and keeping warm became constant preoccupations.

 

Grant's successful siege of Petersburg over the winter of 1864-65 forced Lee to retreat westward from that city on April 2, 1865. The following day, soon after dawn, Richmond's mayor, Joseph C. Mayo, delivered the following message to the commander of the Union forces waiting to enter the Confederate capital: "The Army of the Confederate Government having abandoned the City of Richmond, I respectfully request that you will take possession of it with organized force, to preserve order and protect women and children and property." 

Parrott Rifle made at Tredegar
Drawing of Parrott Rifle.jpg
(Contemporary Drawing)

(Drawing) Contemporary drawing of a Confederate 10-pounder Parrott rifle made by Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, Virginia. Robert Parrott invented this capable iron rifle, it was made in several sizes, and because cast iron guns occasionally exploded, the Parrott had a wrought iron reinforcing band around the breech.

April 3, 1865. "As the sun rose on Richmond, such a spectacle was presented as can never be forgotten by those who witnessed it... All the horrors of the final conflagration, when the earth shall be wrapped in 'flames and melt with fervent heat, were, it seemed to us, prefigured in our capital. The roaring, crackling and hissing of the flames, the bursting of shells at the Confederate Arsenal, the sounds of the Instruments of martial music, the neighing of the horses, the shoutings of the multitudes... gave an idea of all the horrors of Pandemonium. Above all this scene of terror, hung a black shroud of smoke through which the sun shone with a lurid angry glare like an immense ball of blood that emitted sullen rays of light, as if loath to shine over a scene so appalling. ... [Then] a cry was raised: 'The Yankees! The Yankees are coming!'"

Thus did Sallie Putnam, who had lived in Richmond throughout the war, recall the final disastrous hours of the city whose existence preoccupied northerner and southerner alike through four bitter, bloody years and whose final subjugation signaled the beginning of the end for the Confederate States of America. 

NPS Visitors Center at Tredegar Iron Works
NPS Visitors Center at Tredegar Iron Works.jpg
(National Park Service)

On April 4 and 5, 1865, President Lincoln made a remarkable visit to Richmond as he pressed to conclude the war that had cost more than 620,000 lives “with malice toward none, with charity for all…” His assassination, just days later, portended a less charitable course for the aftermath.

 

Upon evacuation of the city, the Confederate government authorized the burning of warehouses and supplies, which resulted in considerable damage to factories and houses in the business district. Before the charred ruins of Richmond had cooled, Lee, with the remnant of his army, surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. The collapse of the Confederacy followed swiftly.

 

Today, the Richmond National Battlefield Park preserves more than 1900 acres of Civil War resources in 13 units, including the main visitor center at the famous Tredegar Iron Works and the Chimborazo Medical Museum, on the site of Chimborazo Hospital.

(Sources and related reading below.)

Recommended Reading: The Richmond Campaign of 1862: The Peninsula and the Seven Days (Military Campaigns of the Civil War), by Gary W. Gallagher. Description: The Richmond campaign of April-July 1862 ranks as one of the most important military operations of the first years of the American Civil War. Key political, diplomatic, social, and military issues were at stake as Robert E. Lee and George B. McClellan faced off on the peninsula between the York and James Rivers. The climactic clash came on June 26-July 1 in what became known as the Seven Days battles, when Lee, newly appointed as commander of the Confederate forces, aggressively attacked the Union army. Casualties for the entire campaign exceeded 50,000, more than 35,000 of whom fell during the Seven Days. Continued below…

This book offers nine essays in which well-known Civil War historians explore questions regarding high command, strategy and tactics, the effects of the fighting upon politics and society both North and South, and the ways in which emancipation figured in the campaign. The authors have consulted previously untapped manuscript sources and reinterpreted more familiar evidence, sometimes focusing closely on the fighting around Richmond and sometimes looking more broadly at the background and consequences of the campaign. About the Author: Gary W. Gallagher is John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He has published widely on the Civil War, including six previous titles in the Military Campaigns of the Civil War series, and he is also a contributing Civil War historian for the History Channel.

Site search Web search

Recommended Reading: To The Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign, by Stephen Sears. Description: To the Gates of Richmond charts the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, General George McClellan's grand scheme to march up the Virginia Peninsula and take the Confederate capital. For three months McClellan battled his way toward Richmond, but then Robert E. Lee took command of the Confederate forces. In seven days, Lee drove the cautious McClellan out, thereby changing the course of the war. Intelligent and well researched, To the Gates of Richmond vividly recounts one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Continued below...

Publishers Weekly: Sears complements his 1988 biography of George McClellan with this definitive analysis of the general's principal campaign. McClellan's grand plan was to land an army at Yorktown, move up the Virginia peninsula toward Richmond, and fight a decisive battle somewhere near the Confederate capital, thereby ending the Civil War while it was still a rebellion instead of a revolution. The strategy failed in part because of McClellan's persistent exaggerations of Confederate strength, but also because under his command the Federals fought piecemeal. The Confederates were only marginally more successful at concentrating their forces, but Sears credits their leaders, especially Lee, as better able to learn from experience. Confederate victory on the Peninsula meant the Civil War would continue. The campaign's heavy casualties indicated the kind of war it would be.

 

Recommended Reading: Seven Days Before Richmond: McClellan's Peninsula Campaign Of 1862 And Its Aftermath (2009) (Hardcover) (728 pages). Description: This exhaustive volume, Seven Days Before Richmond, combines meticulous research with a unique perspective and examines the 1862 Peninsula Campaign of Union General George McClellan and the profound effects it had on the lives of McClellan and Confederate General Robert E. Lee, as well as its lasting impact on the war itself. Continued below…

Rudolph Schroeder’s twenty-five year military career and combat experience bring added depth to his analysis of the Peninsula Campaign, offering new insight and revelation to the subject of Civil War battle history. Schroeder analyzes this crucial campaign from its genesis to its lasting consequences on both sides. Featuring a detailed bibliography and a glossary of terms, this work contains the most complete Order of Battle of the Peninsula Campaign ever compiled, and it also includes the identification of commanders down to the regiment level. In addition, this groundbreaking volume includes several highly-detailed maps that trace the Peninsula Campaign and recreate this pivotal moment in the Civil War. Impeccably detailed and masterfully told, Seven Days Before Richmond is an essential addition to Civil War scholarship. Schroeder artfully enables us to glimpse the innermost thoughts and motivations of the combatants and makes history truly come alive.

 

Recommended Reading: The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: A Military Analysis (Hardcover). Description: The largest offensive of the Civil War, involving army, navy, and marine forces, the Peninsula Campaign has inspired many history books. No previous work, however, analyzes Union general George B. McClellan's massive assault toward Richmond in the context of current and enduring military doctrine. The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: A Military Analysis is an effort to fill this void. Background history is provided for continuity, but the heart of this book is in military analysis and the astonishing extent to which the personality traits of generals will often overwhelm even the best efforts of their armies. Continued below…

The Peninsula Campaign lends itself to such a study. In the book, lessons for those studying the art of war are many. On the waters, the first ironclads forever changed naval warfare (Monitor v. Merrimack). At the strategic level, McClellan's inability to grasp Lincoln's grand objective becomes evident. At the operational level, Robert E. Lee's difficulty in synchronizing his attacks deepens the mystique of how he achieved so much with so little. At the tactical level, the Confederate use of terrain to trade space for time allows for a classic study in tactics. Moreover, the campaign is full of lessons about the personal dimension of war. McClellan's overcaution, Lee's audacity, and Jackson's personal exhaustion all provide valuable insights for today’s commanders and for Civil War enthusiasts still debating this tremendous struggle. Historic photos and detailed battle maps make this study an invaluable resource for those touring all the many battlegrounds from Young's Mill and Yorktown through Fair Oaks to the final throes of the Seven Days Battles.

 

Recommended Reading: Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital. Review: When conquering Union soldiers entered Richmond, Virginia, in the first days of April, 1865, they found a city afire, reduced to desperation, but still defiant. Virginia historian Nelson Lankford reconstructs the final hours of the Confederacy's heart in this vivid narrative, which draws on contemporary letters, diaries, and official reports that share both immediacy and a sense of awe at the terrible destruction. Continued below…

Just why the capital burned has long been a subject of speculation; by Lankford's account, much of the damage was due to the defenders' last-minute efforts to destroy war materiel, setting fires that soon spread. Lankford attends to other legends as well, including a reported call on Confederate general George Pickett's home by none other than Abraham Lincoln, while offering verifiable vignettes of such moments as Robert E. Lee's return to the capital and the celebrations of newly liberated slaves and Union prisoners. Lankford's narrative offers a view much different from what he calls "the warm sepia glow cast over our great national trauma by popular books and documentary films." It is a fine effort, and one that students of the Civil War should welcome.

 

Recommended Reading: Sword Over Richmond: An Eyewitness History Of McClellan's Peninsula Campaign. Description: Told through the words of participants and observers, both military and civilian, this book is an account of the events that followed George B. McClellan's appointment as commander of the Army of the Potomac, and his controversial Peninsula Campaign. Publishers Weekly: Union General George McClellan's attempt to capture the Confederate capital in 1862, one of the most significant campaigns of the Civil War, has been comparatively neglected by popular historians, probably because of its complexity and seeming lack of coherent structure. Continued below…

Wheeler recounts it in a way that should attract a large readership: the judicious use of extensive quotes by participants and observers, linked by expositional passages of remarkable clarity, supported by good maps. The political and strategic aspects of the campaign are given fair due, but the emphasis is on the human element. The central incidents on which the personal narratives hang include the Monitor-Merrimack battle, "Stonewall" Jackson's diversionary maneuvers in the Shenandoah Valley and Lee's daring counteroffensive in the Seven Days Battles. The book is rich in dramatic anecdote, telling detail and eloquence.

 

Recommended Reading: Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles. Description: The Seven Days Battles were fought southeast of the Confederate capital of Richmond in the summer of 1862, and it was the first campaign in the Civil War in which Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee and his fellow officers, including "Stonewall" Jackson, James Longstreet, A. P. Hill, and D. H. Hill, pushed George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac from the gates of Richmond to the James River, where the Union forces reached safety. Along the way, Lee lost several opportunities to harm McClellan. The Seven Days have been the subject of numerous historical treatments, but none more detailed and engaging than Brian K. Burton's retelling of the campaign that lifted Southern spirits, began Lee's ascent to fame, and almost prompted European recognition of the Confederacy. Continued below…

Reviews:

"A full and measured account marked by a clear narrative and an interesting strategy of alternating the testimony of generals with their grand plans and the foot soldiers who had to move, shoot, and communicate in the smoky underbrush." -- The Virginia Magazine

"A thoroughly researched and well-written volume that will surely be the starting point for those interested in this particular campaign." -- Journal of American History

"A welcome addition to scholarship that should be the standard work on its subject for some time to come." -- Journal of Military History

"A well-written, thoroughly researched study of the Seven Days.... Provides thorough and reasonable analyses of the commanders on both sides." -- Georgia Historical Quarterly

 
Recommended Reading: The Peninsula and Seven Days: A Battlefield Guide (This Hallowed Ground: Guides to Civil War). Description: Often cited as one of the most decisive campaigns in military history, the Seven Days Battles were the first campaign in which Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia—as well as the first in which Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson worked together. In this guidebook, the acknowledged expert on the Seven Days Battles conducts readers, tourists, and armchair travelers through the history and terrain of this pivotal series of Civil War battles. Continued below…

Maps and descriptive overviews of the battles guide readers to key locales and evoke a sense of what participants on either side saw in 1862. From the beginning of George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign, which culminated in the Seven Days, to the bloody battles that saved the Confederate capital from capture, this guide unfolds the strategies, routes, and key engagements of this critical campaign, offering today’s visitors and Civil War enthusiasts the clearest picture yet of what happened during the Seven Days. "[The Peninsula and Seven Days], which uses the battlefield itself as a tool for analyzing what took place there, will be of great value to those seeking to understand this pivotal epoch of the war."-Steven E. Woodworth, author of Shiloh: A Battlefield Guide. Author Brian K. Burton is a professor of management, associate dean of the College of Business and Economics, and MBA program director at Western Washington University. He is the author of Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles.

 

Recommended Reading: City Under Siege: Richmond in the Civil War. Description: This book presents the people of Richmond, Virginia--not all of whom approved of secession--from a personal perspective, offering captivating and fascinating stories of their collective strength and heart-wrenching accounts of their day-to-day survival.

Sources: Bailey, Ronald H. and the Editors of Time-Life Books, Forward to Richmond: McClellan's Peninsular Campaign, Time-Life Books, 1983; Bailey, Ronald H., and the Editors of Time-Life Books, The Bloodiest Day: The Battle of Antietam, Time-Life Books, 1984; Beagle, Jonathan M., "George Brinton McClellan", Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History, Heidler, David S., and Heidler, Jeanne T., eds., W. W. Norton & Company, 2000; Beatie, Russel H., Army of the Potomac: Birth of Command, November 1860 – September 1861, Da Capo Press, 2002; Beatie, Russel H., Army of the Potomac: McClellan's First Campaign, March – May 1862, Savas Beatie, 2007; Blount, Roy, Jr. Robert E. Lee Penguin Putnam, 2003; Burton, Brian K., Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles, Indiana University Press, 2001; Burton, Brian K., The Peninsula & Seven Days: A Battlefield Guide, University of Nebraska Press, 2007; Catton, Bruce. The Army of the Potomac. Volume 1: Mr. Lincoln's Army. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday 1951; Carmichael, Peter S., ed. Audacity Personified: The Generalship of Robert E. Lee Louisiana State University Press, 2004; Connelly, Thomas L., "The Image and the General: Robert E. Lee in American Historiography." Civil War History 19 (March 1973); Connelly, Thomas L., The Marble Man. Robert E. Lee and His Image in American Society. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977; Connelly, Thomas L., "Robert E. Lee and the Western Confederacy: A Criticism of Lee's Strategic Ability." Civil War History 15 (June 1969); Cooke, John E., "A Life of General Robert E. Lee" Kessinger Publishing, 2004; Dowdey, Clifford. Lee 1965; Eckenrode, H. J., and Col. Bryan Conrad, George B. McClellan: The Man Who Saved the Union, University of North Carolina Press, 1941; Downs, Alan C., "Fair Oaks / Seven Pines", Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History, Heidler, David S., and Heidler, Jeanne T., eds., W. W. Norton & Company, 2000; Editors of Time-Life Books, Lee Takes Command: From Seven Days to Second Bull Run, Time-Life Books, 1984; Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001; Eicher, David J., The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, Simon & Schuster, 2001; Esposito, Vincent J., West Point Atlas of American Wars, Frederick A. Praeger, 1959; Fellman, Michael (2000), The Making of Robert E. Lee. New York: Random House; Fishwick, Marshall W. Lee after the War 1963; Flood, Charles Bracelen. Lee — The Last Years 1981; Freeman, Douglas Southall. Lee, (4 vol. 1935); abridged one-volume edition, edited by Richard Harwell (1961); the standard biography; Gallagher; Gary W. Lee the Soldier. University of Nebraska Press, 1996; Gallagher, Gary W. Lee & His Army in Confederate History. University of North Carolina Press, 2001; Goodwin, Doris Kearns, Team of Rivals, Simon & Schuster, 2005; Harsh, Joseph L., Confederate Tide Rising: Robert E. Lee and the Making of Southern Strategy, 1861–1862, Kent State University Press, 1998; Kennedy, Frances H., ed., The Civil War Battlefield Guide, 2nd ed., Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998; Martin, David G. The Peninsula Campaign, March–July 1862. Conshohocken, Pa.: Combined Books, 1992; McCaslin, Richard B. Lee in the Shadow of Washington. Louisiana State University Press, 2001; McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), Oxford University Press, 1988; McPherson, James M., Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, The Battle That Changed the Course of the Civil War, Oxford University Press, 2002; Miller, William J., The Battles for Richmond, 1862, U.S. National Park Service and Eastern National, 1996; Nevins, Allan, The War for the Union, Vol. I: The Improvised War 1861 – 1862, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1959; Nolan, Alan T. Lee Considered, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC (1991); Pryor, Elizabeth Brown; Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York: Viking, 2007; Rafuse, Ethan S., McClellan's War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union, Indiana University Press, 2005; Reid, Brian Holden. Robert E. Lee: Icon for a Nation, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005; Rowland, Thomas J., "George Brinton McClellan", Leaders of the American Civil War: A Biographical and Historiographical Dictionary, Ritter, Charles F., and Wakelyn, Jon L., eds., Greenwood Press, 1998; Rowland, Thomas J., George B. McClellan and Civil War History: In the Shadow of Grant and Sherman, Kent State University Press, 1998; Salmon, John S., The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide, Stackpole Books, 2001; Sandburg, Carl, Storm Over the Land: A Profile of the Civil War, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1942; Sears, Stephen W., Controversies and Commanders: Dispatches from the Army of the Potomac, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999; Sears, Stephen W., George B. McClellan: The Young Napoleon, Da Capo Press, 1988; Sears, Stephen W., Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam, Houghton Mifflin, 1983; Sears, Stephen W., To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign, Ticknor and Fields, 1992; Smith, Eugene O. Lee and Grant: a Dual Biography, McGraw-Hill, New York (1991); Thomas, Emory Robert E. Lee W.W. Norton & Co., 1995; Webb, Alexander S., The Peninsula: McClellan's Campaign of 1862, Castle Books (reprint 2002), 1881; US History Encyclopedia; Webb, Alexander S., The Peninsula: McClellan's Campaign of 1862, Castle Books (reprint 2002), 1881; National Park Service; National Archives; Library of Congress; Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT); Richmond National Battlefield Park Historical Handbook; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Microsoft Virtual Earth; pbs.org.

Return to American Civil War Homepage

Best viewed with Google Chrome

Google Safe.jpg