Battle Seven Days
The battles the seven days, which belongs to the American Civil War, is a victory of the confederated forces of Robert Lee over the northerner forces of the general George McClellan. This battle (or continuation of battles) proceeded in the neighborhoods of Richmond from June 25th to July 1st 1862.
The goal of this battle for the Confédérés is to push back the northerner forces, which since the beginning of the year approached very close to Richmond, the capital of the Southerners. The stake of this battle is important: if the Southerners push back the forces of the Union, Lee releases Richmond and can take again the initiative. On the contrary, if the forces of McClellan gain the victory, they can take Richmond and thus touch the rebellion Southerner in full heart.
Army of Potomac: general major George Brinton McClellan.
- 2 bodies: general sergeant Edwin Vose Sumner.
- 1 division: general sergeant Israel Bush Richardson.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant John Curtis Caldwell.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant Thomas Francis Meagher, then colonel R. Nugent, then general sergeant Thomas Francis Meagher.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant William Henry French.
- 2 division: general sergeant John Sedgwick.
- 1 brigade: colonel A. Sulley.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant William Wallace Burns.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana.
- 3 bodies: general sergeant Samuel Peter Heintzelman.
- 2 division: general sergeant Joseph Hooker.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Grover Vat.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant Daniel Edgar Sickles.
- 3 brigade: colonel Joseph Bradford Carr Carr.
- 3 division: general sergeant Philip Kearny.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant John Cleveland Robinson.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant David Bell Birney.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Hiram Gregory Berry.
- 4 bodies: general sergeant Erasmus Darwin Keyes.
- 1 division: general sergeant Darius Nash Couch.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Albion Paris Howe.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant John Joseph Abercrombie.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Ines Newton Micrometer caliper.
- 2 division: general sergeant John James Peck.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Henry Morris Naglee.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant Henry Walton Wessells.
- 5 bodies: general sergeant Fitz John To carry.
- 1 division: general sergeant George Webb Morell.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant John Henry Martindale.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant Charles Griffin.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Daniel Butterfield.
- 2 division: general sergeant George Sykes.
- 1 brigade: colonel Robert Christie Buchanan.
- 2 brigade: lieutenant colonel W. Chapman, then major C.S. Lovell.
- 3 brigade: colonel G.K. Warren.
- 3 division: general sergeant George Archibald Mac Cal, then general sergeant Truman Seymour.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant John Fulton Reynolds, then colonel S.G. Simmons, then colonel R.B. Roberts.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant George Gordon Meade, then colonel A.L. Magilton.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Truman Seymour, then colonel Conrad Feger Jackson.
- 6 bodies: general sergeant William Buel Franklin.
- 1 division: general sergeant Henry Warner Slocum.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant George William Taylor.
- 2 brigade: colonel J.E. Bartlett.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant John Newton.
- 2 division: general sergeant William Farrar Smith.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Winfield Scott Hancock.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant William Thomas Harbaugh Brooks.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant John Wynn Davidson.
- cavalry: general sergeant George Stoneman.
- cavalry of reserve: general sergeant Holy Philip George Cooke.
- genius: general sergeant Silas Casey.
- brigade of the Genius: general sergeant Daniel Phinéas Woodbury.
Armed with Virginia of North: general Robert Edward Lee.
Body of the general major Thomas Jonathan Jackson.
- Division of the general sergeant William Henry Drives out Whiting.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Beautiful John Hood.
- 3 brigade: colonel Evander Mac Ivor Law.
- Division of general major Thomas Jonathan Jackson.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Charles Sidney Winder.
- 2 brigade: lieutenant colonel R.H. Cunningham Jr., then general sergeant John Robert Jones (casualty), then lieutenant colonel R.H. Cunningham Jr.
- 3 brigade: colonel S.V. Fulkerson (killed), then colonel E.H.T. Warren, then general sergeant Wade Hampton.
- 4 brigade: general sergeant Alexander Robert Lawton.
- Division of general major Richard Stoddert Ewell.
- 4 brigade: general sergeant Arnold Elzey, then colonel James Alexander Walker, then general sergeant Jubal Anderson Early.
- 7 brigade: general sergeant Isaac Ridgeway Trimble.
- 8 brigade: general sergeant Richard Taylor, then colonel I.G. Seymour (killed), then colonel Leroy Augustus Stafford.
- Division of the general major Daniel Harvey Hill.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Robert Emmett Grind, then colonel John Brown Gordon.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant George Burgwyn Anderson (casualty), colonel C.C. Tew.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Samuel Garland Jr.
- 4 brigade: colonel Alfred Holt Colquitt.
- 5 brigade: general sergeant Roswell Sabine Ripley.
Body of general major John Bankhead Magruder.
- Division of the general sergeant David Rumph Jones.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Robert Augustus Toombs.
- 3 brigade: colonel George Thomas Anderson.
- Division of general major Lafayette Mac Laws.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Paul Jones Sow.
- 4 brigade: general sergeant Joseph Brevard Kershaw.
- Division of general major John Bankhead Magruder.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant Howell Cobb.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Richard Griffith (killed), then colonel William Barksdale.
Body of general major James Longstreet.
- Division of general major James Longstreet, then general sergeant Richard Heron Anderson.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant James Lawson Kemper.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant R.H. Anderson, colonel Micah Jenkins.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant George Edward Pickett, then colonel J.B. Strange, then colonel E. Hunton, then colonel J.B. Strange.
- 4 brigade: general sergeant Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox.
- 5 brigade: general sergeant Roger Atkindon Pryor.
- 6 brigade: general sergeant Winfield Scott Featherston.
- Division of general major Benjamin Huger.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant William Mahone.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Ambrose Ransom Wright.
- 4 brigade: general sergeant Lewis Addison Armistead.
- Division of the general major Ambrose Powell Hill.
- 1 brigade: general sergeant Charles William Field.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant Maxcy Gregg.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Joseph Reid Anderson (casualty), colonel E.L. Thomas.
- 4 brigade: general sergeant Lawrence O' Bryan Branch.
- 5 brigade: general sergeant James Jay Archer.
- 6 brigade: general sergeant William Dorsey Pender.
- Division of general major Theophilus Hunter Holmes.
- 2 brigade: general sergeant Robert Ransom Jr.
- 3 brigade: general sergeant Junius Daniel.
- 4 brigade: general sergeant Joseph George Walker, then colonel Van H. Manning.
- Body of the general sergeant Henry Alexander Wise.
- Cavalry: general sergeant James Ewell Brown Stuart.
- Artillery of reserve: general sergeant William Nelson Pendleton.
First steps of the battle.
Following battle on Seven Pines or on Fair Oaks (names of the battles are different according to whether one chooses north or the south), the president of confederated the Davis decides to replace Joe Johnston (the general of Virginia wounded in the preceding battle) by the Lee general. This last decides to stop engagement on June 1st. However, the new chief of the army of Virginia Septentrionale (its new name) is highly criticized. A newspaper Southerner, the Richmond Examineur, qualifies it " Lee the évacuateur" , allusion to its countryside of Western Virginia where he had not dared to attack the enemy. Nevertheless, Lee is unaware of criticisms and gives in order its army. Its decisions are initially centered on the defensive, its soldiers consolidate the fortifications around Richmond. But very quickly, it becomes clear that the goal of Lee is not to undergo a seat. On the contrary, its goal is to prepare a line which only part of the forces Southerners will hold, while the remainder of the army will attack the exposed right side of McClellan. The general Southerner asks Jeb Stuart, a rider specialized in the recognition, to indicate to him where the right wing is. The officer fulfills his mission amply: to the head of 1200 riders, it leaves Richmond, and after having crossed the Chickahominy, pushes back the small federal patrols sent to its meeting. The men of Stuart discovered the position of the 5th body, under the direction of Fritz-John Porter, that McClellan had left on northern bank of Chickahominy. Jeb Stuart thus returned to Richmond after an animated return, where it gained several skirmishes and captured 170 prisoners. Lee now had all information which it needed, and it knew that the right wing of the northerners was not protected by natural or artificial obstacles. The general Southerner entrusted the command of the attack to Stonewall Jackson. The strategy of Lee was well in place: it made come the army from Jackson of the valley of the Shenandoah so that it attacks the side To carry, while three divisions coming from Richmond would attack it face. The risk of this plan was that while Lee attacked with 70.000 men the 30.000 men To carry to the north of the river, 75.000 blue tunics who were on southern bank of the river could fall on the 27.000 confederated that there was opposite. But Lee knew McClellan perfectly, and this last was believed once again in numerical inferiority as well in the south as in the north of the river.
Course of the battle.
The seven days battle which as its name indicates it is unrolled in seven days, it is appropriate to detail day per day the course of the battle.
June 25th (battles of Oak Grove)
June 25th, compared to the other days of battles which proceeded after, rather calm and only was punctuated by an important skirmish between the unionistic ones in reconnaissance mission and confederated in Oak Grove, which made about 500 dead and wounded on each side.
June 26th (battles of Beaver Dam Creek)
June 26th, Lee decides to attack, but initially the engagements are with the advantage of the northerners. According to the plan of Lee, Jackson was to attack the right side To carry in the small hour. But when the sun arrived at its zenith, no shot had been made hear. While Lee was corroded by aggravation, the Général Hill which cannot more wait and advanced its division in end of the afternoon, to give the attack to an equal number the federal ones (16 000) cut off behind a river, Beaver Dam Creek close to Mechanicsville, with ten kilometers in north east of Richmond. It was a massacre, Hill lost nearly 1500 rebels killed or wounded by the Yankees while the latter had to deplore the loss only of 160 as of theirs. At the time of this combat, three divisions of Jackson were only with a few kilometers in north, but their commander did not do anything to help the Hill general. Today still, the passivity of Jackson remains a mystery. It had been badgered indeed by the unionistic cavalry; northerner soldiers also had cut trees across the road and had burned bridges, but this type of problems had never caused concern with the riders of Jackson in the valley of Shenandoah. The most probable cause of the passivity of the general Southerner was undoubtedly tiredness due to transport in the often long train, then with long walks under a crushing heat. But more still than that, Jackson had a need for sleep higher than the average and being able to rest hardly but a few hours the previous days. He suffered from what one would call today the by-effects of overwork, and fell asleep several times at crucial moments of the seven days battle. On her side, McClellan had gained a victory which it described as total, but it refused nevertheless to take the offensive. Knowing the nearest arrival of Jackson about the side To carry, it ordered with this last to move back of six kilometers to gain a position more strengthened behind the marsh of Boatswain' S Swamp close to Gaines' Mill. Also thinking that its supply route was threatened by the projection of the confederated troops, it decided to make transfer its camp on the James River, in the southernmost part of the peninsula. This decision obliged it to give up its original plan which was to bombard and to take Richmond. From this moment, McClellan only fought to protect her retirement and the tactical defeat of the south with Maechanicsville became a strategic victory, the Southerners taking the ascending psychological one.
However, to collect the fruits of this advantage, Lee was to drive out the unionistic ones of their fortified camp and the operation was expensive. The plan of Lee was the following: A.P Hill was to attack Porter in the center, while Longstreet would pretend an attack on the left side and that Jackson with four divisions would attack the left side. If To carry launched troops against Jackson, the pretense of Longstreet was to be transformed into a true attack and To carry should face 50.000 men whereas had only 30.000 of them to him. But the attack Southerner still suffered from a lack of coordination. Jackson put too much time to launch out to the attack, and Hill was on the contrary too fast. It fought only a whole afternoon of summer, attacking through ravines and wood bulky against the forces of the Union, which inflicted a severe defeat with the confederated forces. Some attacks décousus of Longstreet and some men who were under the command of Jackson could cause a drop in slightly the pressure which weighed on the forces of Hill. Finally to the twilight, Lee managed to launch all its divisions to the attack. A group of texans ordered by the general John Bell Hood managed to make an opening. The forces To carry beat a retreat protected by a back keeps of 6000 men made of fresh troops. Nevertheless 2800 northerners were captured and 4000 killed or wounded. On its side Lee lost 9000 men. On southern bank of Chickahominy, the 69.000 federal ones did not move, nargués by the general Magruder, ordering of the 27.000 men in the east of Richmond which made a show of force where it drew several salvos from artillery and caused with the infantry northerner defenses. Several northerner generals in front of this " attaque" fell into the trap tended by confederated and believed that the latter were in numerical superiority. McClellan informed missed an occasion to counter-attack. However, in spite of the various attacks of the forces Southerners, the army of Potomac was still in the fine shape, but its McClellan chief thought that it had lost the battle and telegraphed with the government a message showing it nothing to have made to help it, showing it to have wanted to sacrifice his men. Fortunately for him, a colonel of the office of the surprised telegraph decided to remove the sentences showing the government. June 28th proceeded without tear, the northerners being folded up towards the James River, Lee preparing a new plan of attack.
The plan of Lee was the following: while the army of Potomac was folded up towards the James River, the general Southerner wanted to attack it side. Last nine divisions were to meet to attack the blue tunics in full retirement. But of bad charts, the geographical problems, the heads of division timorés (especially Magruder and Benjamin Huger), the resistance of unionistic and the traditional lethargy of Jackson ruined the project. A first failure took place with Savage' S Station with five kilometers in the south of Chickahominy. Three supposed divisions of Yankees to protect a hospital from countryside and a convoy of vivres were attacked. The Magruder general attacked the blue tunics in the west, whereas Jackson attacked them by the line, newcomer of north. This last wasted time by rebuilding a bridge instead of passing the river to a ford. Magruder, attacking with half of its division, was pushed back without problem by northerner divisions. The Yankees withdrew themselves by leaving behind them the casualties of the last combat as well as surgeons - majors voluntary.
June 30th (battles of Glendale)
June 30th, Lee set up a new plan, seven divisions having to launch a concentric attack on the village of Glendale. Once again coordination was very bad, and only Longstreet and Hill managed to tackle five unionistic divisions. The rebels gained a little ground by capturing 1000 men, but by losing 3500 died and wounded, that is to say the double of their adversaries. Jackson once again did not launch its 25.000 men to the attack. This last tried to rebuild a bridge (once again) when the unionistic ones prevented some. At this time, made strange, Jackson lengthened in grass and fell asleep. The officers of this last found a ford but the general Southerner remained inactive while the troops of Hill and Longstreet were made kill.
July 1st (battles of Malvern Hill)
July 1st, Lee is of massacring mood. It is expressed clearly, saying that if the army of unionistic is not made destroy, it is fault of the generals subordinates who did not know to apply his orders. But unfortunately for the généralissime Southerner, the blue tunics were cut off from the best position than they had found until there. This position was with 5 kilometers in the south of Glendale on the heights of Malvern Hill. This fifty meters high hill is flanked deep ravines apart one kilometer and half. The hillock of Malvern Hill could thus be attacked only face, and through a ground stripped of shelter, which implied heavy losses. Four divisions of the Union as hundred guns were held on the position to defend it. However, according to Lee, the northern army was demoralized. Indeed, in their retirement the unionistic forces gave up much material, which benefitted the intendance Southerner (they recovered 30.000 weapons of small gauges like 50 guns). The southern army also captured nearly 6000 men since June 25th. Despite everything its vexations the northern army was by no means affected and kept moral high, except for their commander who sent a telegraph has Washington where it notified that it had been attacked by a higher enemy and that it should give up his material if it wanted to save his men. Lee, impatient to destroy the army of Potomac, gave the order to position artillery on two hillocks located opposite Malvern Hill, but once again an error of the state major made it possible only some guns to be put in position. The latter were rather quickly reduced to silence by northerner artillery. However, the general Southerner gave the order to his troops to charge, but once again the order was badly transmitted and the southern army charged in a total lack with cohesion. The northerner artillery was given some to heart joy and rammed the infantry Southerner completely disorganized. The surviving men were very quickly killed by the northerner infantry firmly established on Malvern Hill. The division of D.H. Hill was most severely touched. The latter will say combat of Malvern Hill that it was not war, but of the assassination. At the time of this day the Southerners lost nearly 5500 killed and wounded, twice as much as the northerners. Certain generals Yankees seeing the hecatomb which the southern army had undergone wanted to counter-attack, but McClellan as with its practice made beat a retreat its troops. Certain generals as Philip Kearny said that this order was inspired only by the fear.
Following the combat of Malvern Hill, the northerners were folded up to the James River. Lee in front of the number of losses of its army (20 000 Southerners, a quarter of its army against hardly 10.000 northerners) decided not to continue to continue the fight. While not losing that only one tactical battle with Gaine' S Millet, the northerners under the impulse of their general-in-chief did nothing but move back and battle the seven days became a strategic victory for confederated. However Lee was not content with the result of the battle, its goal was to destroy the army of Potomac, which of course did not arrive. The general Southerner, in front of the incapacity of several of his generals, exiled most unable in Texas and replaced them by men in whom it had more confidence. The 30.000 killed or wounded some seven days battle make of it the most fatal combat of the beginning of the year 1862. The failure of McClellan in her countryside of the peninsula is revolving in the American Civil War: from now on north does not fight any more to restore the old Union, but to destroy it and build a news of it.
- Bailey, Ronald H. and the Editors off Time-Life Books, Forward to Richmond: McClellan' S Peninsular Campaign , Time-Life Books, 1983, ISBN 0-8094-4720-7.
- Eicher, David J., The Longest Night: In Military History off the Civil War , Simon & Schuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
- Esposito, Vincent J., '' West Point Atlas off American Wars '', Frederick A. Praeger, 1959.
- Sears, Stephen W., To the Spoil Richmond off: The Peninsula Campaign , Ticknor and Fields, 1992, ISBN 0-89919-760-6.
- description of the battle by the National Park Service
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