Seven Days battles

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Seven Days battles,

in the American Civil War, the week-long Confederate counter-offensive (June 26–July 2, 1862) near Richmond, Va., that ended the Peninsular campaignPeninsular campaign,
in the American Civil War, the unsuccessful Union attempt (Apr.–July, 1862) to capture Richmond, Va., by way of the peninsula between the York and James rivers. The Plan

Early in 1862, Gen. George B.
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. After the battle of Fair Oaks the Union general George B. McClellanMcClellan, George Brinton,
1826–85, Union general in the American Civil War, b. Philadelphia. After graduating (1846) from West Point, he served with distinction in the Mexican War and later worked on various engineering projects, notably on the survey (1853–54) for
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 moved his army so that only the 5th Corps under Fitz-John PorterPorter, Fitz-John,
1822–1901, Union general in the American Civil War, b. Portsmouth, N.H.; nephew of David Porter. He saw service in the Mexican War and was an instructor at West Point (1849–55).
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 remained N of the Chickahominy River. Gen. Robert E. LeeLee, Robert Edward,
1807–70, general in chief of the Confederate armies in the American Civil War, b. Jan. 19, 1807, at Stratford, Westmoreland co., Va.; son of Henry ("Light-Horse Harry") Lee.
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, commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, planned to attack Porter and cut McClellan off from his base at White House Landing on the Pamunkey River. Thomas J. (Stonewall) JacksonJackson, Stonewall
(Thomas Jonathan Jackson), 1824–63, Confederate general, b. Clarksburg, Va. (now W.Va.), grad. West Point, 1846. Like a Stone Wall
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, who was on his way from the Shenandoah Valley to join Lee, was to advance from the north and turn Porter's strong position behind Beaver Dam Creek. A. P. Hill was then to attack the Union advance lines at Mechanicsville, a village c.5 mi (8 km) NE of Richmond. Jackson failed to arrive; nevertheless, Hill's troops attacked and were severely repulsed in the battle of Mechanicsville (or Beaver Dam Creek) on June 26. Porter then fell back to another strong position at Gaine's Mill, a locality near Old Cold Harbor, c.10 mi (16 km) NE of Richmond. There on June 27, Longstreet, Jackson, A. P. Hill, and Daniel H. Hill led the Confederates against Porter's greatly outnumbered forces and at nightfall finally broke the Union resistance. With a good part of his corps, Porter crossed the river and joined the bulk of McClellan's army, which had remained inactive. McClellan decided to move his base to the navigable James River in order to add naval support. His march from the Chickahominy River was well executed, and Lee was unsuccessful in intercepting him in the battles of Savage's Station on June 29 and Frayser's Farm (or Glendale) on June 30. McClellan posted his army on Malvern Hill, a strong defensive position on the north bank of the James c.18 mi (29 km) SE of Richmond. In the battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, the Union troops repeatedly repulsed the Confederate attacks in some of the hardest fighting of the war. On the next day, however, McClellan, declining to take the offensive, withdrew to Harrison's Landing on the James River, and the Peninsular campaign was over. Lee had suffered the heavier losses, and he had been unsuccessful in his attempts to dismember McClellan's retreating army. However, by taking the offensive Lee had saved Richmond, and not until 1864 did Union forces again come so near the Confederate capital.


See C. Dowdey, The Seven Days (1964).

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References in periodicals archive ?
The two men's wives were first cousins, and Dabney briefly served as Jackson's chief-of-staff in the Shenandoah Valley campaign and Seven Days Battles outside Richmond.
(29) But the Seven Days Battles required moving troops in the absence of Jackson and coordination among several armies.
The tide had started to rise with the victories in the Seven Days Battles, which, while not decisive, succeeded in pushing the Federal Army away from Richmond.
In contrast, John Bankhead Magruder's reputation was forever tarnished during the Seven Days Battles, partly because of his unsavory reputation as a spendthrift and drunkard.
Meagher served on the side of the Union during the Civil War, and earned the rank of brigadier general; he was in charge of the legendary Irish Brigade during the Seven Days Battles, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville.