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The Peninsula and Seven Days

The Peninsula and Seven Days: A Battlefield Guide

Cartography by Christopher L. Brest
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 150
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  • Book Info
    The Peninsula and Seven Days
    Book 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.

    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.

    eISBN: 978-0-8032-0581-9
    Subjects: History
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction (pp. ix-xii)

    The Seven Days Battles have been considered by British military historian J. F. C. Fuller to be one of the decisive battles in world history. They marked the end of the last chance for the Union to win the Civil War while Northern objectives were still modest—the restoration of the status quo ante. For that reason alone they are worth study. But the series of engagements in late June and early July 1862 also marked the first campaign in which Robert E.Leeled the Army of Northern Virginia, as well as the first campaign in whichLeeand...

  5. How to Use This Guide (pp. xiii-xviii)
  6. The Road to the Peninsula (pp. 1-3)

    On July 22, 1861, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan received orders to come to Washington and assume command of the Union army, which the day before had retreated in disorder from the first major battle of the Civil War. McClellan, who had campaigned successfully in western Virginia earlier in the month, was viewed as a savior by the North after the surprising and disappointing debacle at Bull Run. Naming his force the Army of the Potomac, the youthful West Point graduate immediately set to reorganizing and training his men, a process that would take some months.

    While discussions of blame...

  7. The Peninsula Campaign, April 4–May 15, 1862 (pp. 4-50)

    McClellan began his advance up the Peninsula on April 4 with two columns—each stronger thanMagruder’sentire defensive force. One column left from Fort Monroe, heading directly toward Yorktown. The other left from Newport News on the road to Williamsburg. McClellan intended this column to flank the Rebel force at Yorktown, which he assumed would fall back to entrenchments to protect the town itself. He then would send his other mobile force, the I Corps, to take the Southern position at Gloucester Point across the York River from Yorktown, completing his encirclement of the latter city’s defenders. That accomplished,...

  8. The Peninsula Campaign, May 15–June 24, 1862 (pp. 51-120)

    George McClellan’s plans seemingly were working well in the middle of May 1862. Although the navy had not been able to force its way past Drewry’s Bluff to Richmond, McDowell’s I Corps had been reinforced and actually began its march from Fredericksburg to Richmond.

    Those plans changed as the result of StonewallJackson’scampaign in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.Jacksondefeated Union forces and advanced as far as Harper’s Ferry on the Potomac. Lincoln, acting in effect as his own general-in-chief, tried to captureJackson’sforce as it moved southward again, and one of his pieces was McDowell’s corps....

  9. The Peninsula Campaign, July 2–August 26, 1862 (pp. 121-168)

    Throughout the night of July 1 and early morning of July 2 the Army of the Potomac left its positions on and around Malvern Hill, headed for Harrison’s Landing. On July 2, a hard rain made the march of eight miles or so a miserable experience for almost every Union soldier, but the army did eventually set up camp by the end of the day.

    Leechose not to follow McClellan with his entire army on July 2, althoughStuart’scavalry harassed the Federals’ retreat and scouted the roads past Harrison’s Landing. They found the Yankees at Harrison’s Landing, and...

  10. Back Matter (pp. 169-169)