To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign
Stephen W. Sears
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.
Grandeur I ever beheld.” On occasion the high spirits got out of hand. The men of the 37th New York, the Irish Rifles, smuggled aboard a barrel of whiskey and before long most of them were drunk and brawling with the 2nd Michigan sharing the transport with them. Order was not restored until the colonel of the Michigan regiment, a tough regular named Orlando Poe, personally “ended the performance” by knocking three of the Irishmen down a hatchway and kicking two more after them. It is recorded.
First armored railroad battery. Early in June, when he decided his opponent would try to carry his siege guns to Richmond by way of the railroad, General Lee sought to blockade the route with a siege weapon on his own. Since mounting a heavy gun capable of traverse on a railroad flatcar was not unlike mounting a pivot gun on a warship, he turned to the navy. The result, ready for use on the eve of the Seven Days, was a big 32-pounder Brooke naval rifle, shielded by a sloping casemate of railroad.
Closer look and exclaimed, “Why, those men are rebels!” “We then turned back in as dignified a manner as the circumstances would permit,” Franklin wrote, and thus the high command at Savage’s Station learned that Heintzelman’s Third Corps was nowhere to be found. When he was told this Sumner was particularly outraged, and seeing Heintzelman the next day he refused to speak to him. For old Sumner, one general leaving another’s flank uncovered was not easily forgiven. The Federal batteries opened.
Continuing his game of bluff, provided them with a good deal to see, but little that was distinct. His artillerists and sharpshooters continued to fire at the slightest movement, and the Yankee observers had to keep their distance. Some of McClellan’s generals were eager that morning to see what was really behind the fierce front Magruder displayed. Charles S. Hamilton, leading a division in Heintzelman’s Third Corps, said he could not see much in the way of any actual defenses in the gap.
Photograph by John W. Kuhl.National Archives Harper’s Weekly’s combat artist Waud did this dramatic pen and wash drawing of Phil Kearny, on horseback, leading his troops to the rescue of Joe Hooker’s embattled Yankee division during the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5.Library of Congress Waud also sketched Winfield Scott Hancock repulsing an assault by Jubal Early’s Virginians at Williamsburg. At the right is an abandoned Rebel redoubt.Library of Congress Captain James Hope of the 2nd Vermont.