Seven Days Battles 1862: Lee’s defense of Richmond (Campaign, Volume 133)

By Angus Konstam

Osprey's exam of the quick but the most important crusade of the yank Civil warfare (1861-1865). whilst basic Robert E. Lee took command of the military of Northern Virginia, the Confederacy used to be in trouble. Lee replaced all that during a super, week-long crusade. On 26 June the Confederates struck, scuffling with hard-fought battles in days at Mechanicsville and Gaine's Mill. The ferocity of the accomplice attacks confident McClellan that he used to be outnumbered. not able to maintain the Confederates at bay, the Union military was once recalled to Washington. regardless of wasting 1 / 4 of his males, Lee had kept Richmond, and inflicted a humiliating defeat at the military of the Potomac.

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In past due June 1862, Lee's goal was once to force McClellan from the gates of Richmond. In his respectable report back to President Davis written inside of days of the tip of the crusade Robert E. Lee said that: "Under traditional situations the Federal military must have been destroyed. Its get away was once as a result of ... the wish of right and well timed info. This truth, attributable mainly to the nature of the rustic, enabled basic McClellan skillfully to hide his retreat and so as to add a lot to the obstructions with which nature had beset the best way of our pursuing columns. " This was once partially a smokescreen to guard the reputations of his subordinates, or even of Lee himself. whereas Lee was once in a position to eliminate his much less trustworthy subordinates and to create a extra effective headquarters employees, he was once left with the information that his military had bungled their one vast likelihood of destroying the enemy, and successful the struggle via a unmarried feat of palms. notwithstanding, the general public have been much less fascinated by neglected possibilities. For them, the problem used to be easy. per week earlier than, Richmond used to be lower than siege, and an enemy military of considerably larger energy than the city's defenders lay inside earshot of the city's bells. per week later the siege have been lifted, town were kept, and the enemy was once trapped in a muddy stretch of riverbank, a few 30 miles clear of Richmond. the fellow liable for this brilliant swap of occasions used to be Robert E. Lee. From that time at the basic may well do no flawed, and his place as an icon of the Confederacy was once guaranteed. The victory over McClellan intended that Lee may possibly then movement the seat of conflict north, clear of the accomplice capital. Mter the military entire its reorganization and had recovered its power, this can be precisely what he did. the end result used to be the intense crusade fought by means of Lee and Jackson opposed to Pope's military of Virginia. in the course of the months that undefined, Lee's religion in Jackson will be rewarded through victories at Cedar Mountain (9 August) and at moment Manassas (Bull Run) (29-30 August). The impression of those victories used to be to open the best way for the Confederates' first invasion of the North, a flow designed to spare Virginia, and to motivate abroad attractiveness of the accomplice States of the United States. even though, in July 1862 this lay sooner or later. On eleven July, Lincoln appointed normal Henry W. Halleck because the new Commander in leader of the Union military. McClellan examine the appointment in a newspaper. in simple terms days sooner than Stanton and Lincoln had guaranteed McClellan that he nonetheless loved their complete help. McClellan even started making plans for a brand new offensive, this time at the south facet of the James River, alongside the direction that might be taken by means of supply years later. He even wrote to Halleck, pointing out: "It is the following at the banks of theJames that the destiny of the Union may be made up our minds. "This used to be one other fantasy, and the battle had moved on leaving McClellan excessive and dry at the banks of the James River. Halleck even needed to clarify the strategic scenario to Kemper's Brigade of Longstreet's department attacked from correct to left throughout this box in the course of the conflict of Frayser's Farm.

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