Seven Days Battles 1862: Lee's Defense of Richmond
When General Robert E. Lee took command of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Confederacy was in crisis. General McClellan's Union army lay encamped less than ten miles from Richmond, and the Southerners were outnumbered and dispirited. Lee changed all that in a brilliant weeklong campaign. Stuart's reconnaissance in force, immortalised as his ride around McClellan's army, had revealed flaws in McClellan's dispositions. Lee used this intelligence well, and massed his outnumbered force against the Union right flank. On 26 June the Confederates struck, fighting two hard-fought and bloody battles in two days; Mechanicsville (26 June) and Gaine's Mill (27 June). Although the victories were won at a terrible human cost, the ferocity of the Confederate assaults convinced McClellan that he was outnumbered. He duly retreated towards his supply base on the James River. Lee's men pursued, and McClellan was forced to make a fighting retreat, stopping twice to delay his pursuers. Despite two more battles at Frayser's Farm (30 June) and Malvern Hill (1 July), he was unable to keep the Confederates at bay, and the Union army was recalled to Washington. Despite losing a quarter of his army in a week, Lee had saved Richmond, and inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Army of the Potomac. Although other victories would follow, Lee's battles in defence of the Confederate capital were crucial to the survival of the Southern cause, and won him the respect of the fighting men on both sides. Angus Konstam traces the course of this short and bloody campaign, the beginnings of Robert E. Lee's legendary reputation, and the origins of the battle-winning elan of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Small-arms fire from the troops facing them. Casualties continued to mount (6), until as darkness fell the pinned Confederates were able to withdraw back across the fields behind them to safety. (Stephen Walsh) Union artillery at the battle of Gaine's Mill. Porter lost over 30 guns during the closing moments of the battle. (Stratford Archive) assault, the Carolinians supported on their left by Pender's Brigade. The two Confederate brigades headed toward Ellerson's Mill. Porter described the.
Defenders broke and scrambled up the hill "like rats from a burning who began the charge 253 had become casualties, including their Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, three captains and ship" with the Confederates on their heels. Hood led from seven lieutenants. Amazingly the standard bearer emerged the front. Over on the Union right flank Jackson's men also unscathed. (Stephen Walsh) Many of the Union sick and wounded at Savage's Station field hospital were abandoned during the evening of 29.
June when McClellan ordered Sumner's II Corps to join the retreat. This photograph by James Gibson was taken on 28 June. (Library of Congress) The Union supply depot at Savage's Station, sketched during the afternoon of 27 June. Two days later the base was set alight and abandoned. Watercolor by William Mcilvaine Jr. (Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States) As twilight came the firing dwindled away, and Porter's men were able to withdraw to the safety of the river crossings. It.
US Cavalry (4 Cays., A, C, F & H) 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry (4 Cays.) THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA approximately 85,000 men Commander: General Robert E. Lee The Richmond Divisions Major General Ambrose P. Hill's "Light" Division (14,000 men) Brigadier General Charles W Field's Brigade 40th Virginia 47th Virginia 55th Virginia 60th Virginia Brigadier General Maxcy Gregg's Brigade 1st South Carolina 12th South Carolina 13th South Carolina 14th South Carolina 1st South Carolina Rifles Brigadier.
The Seven Days was that this was not his finest hour. Major General James Longstreet (1821-1904) Born in Edgefield, South Carolina, Longstreet graduated from West Point in 1842 and joined the infantry. He distinguished himself during the Mexican-American War, and emerged as a brevet Major. He served as a paymaster until he resigned his commission in June 1861. Commissioned as a Brigadier General, he saw service at First Manassas (21 July 1861), and was promoted to the rank of Major General the.