To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign

By Stephen W. Sears

To the Gates of Richmond charts the Peninsula crusade of 1862, normal George McClellan's grand scheme to march up the Virginia Peninsula and take the accomplice capital. for 3 months McClellan battled his means towards Richmond, yet then Robert E. Lee took command of the accomplice forces. In seven days, Lee drove the wary McClellan out, thereby altering the process the struggle. clever and good researched, To the Gates of Richmond vividly recounts one of many bloodiest battles of the Civil battle.

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It used to be a classy plan, yet one attractive in inspiration. Like Joe Johnston at Seven Pines, Lee lacked specific intelligence at the numbers within the Federal strength he may face, yet like Johnston he made up our minds to make his turning stream powerful sufficient to crush no matter what it may possibly come upon. opposed to Porter’s 5th Corps—which in truth numbered 28,100—he massed 55,800 males within the mixed forces of Jackson, A. P. Hill, D. H. Hill, Longstreet, and part of Jeb Stuart’s cavalry brigade. to accomplish this margin, Lee used to be risking a counterstroke at once on Richmond via the 4 corps of McClellan’s army—76,000 men—posted south of the Chickahominy. The Yankees there have been below six miles from Capitol sq.. any such counterstroke significantly anxious President Davis, for Lee will be marching lots of the military good clear of the city’s defenses. “The stake is simply too excessive to allow the heartbeat to maintain its even beat . . . ,” Davis informed his spouse in describing the plan. (Joe Johnston additionally apprehensive. He used to be nonetheless disabled by way of his Seven Pines wounds, and whilst he discovered of Lee’s turning move he had a distinct educate readied to take him south to protection should still McClellan hurricane the town. ) Left to guard Richmond will be simply the 28,900 males within the instructions of Magruder and Huger. conserving the James River flank, and serving as a basic reserve, was once one other 7,300, below Theophilus Holmes. Lee had without doubt considered Austerlitz, the place in 1805 an ill-conceived turning circulate by means of the Allies opened the best way for Napoleon’s so much very good victory. notwithstanding, he didn't think the younger Napoleon a daring sufficient basic to grab that kind of chance (the observe Lee used for his opponent was once timid); McClellan could basically reflect on safeguard, no longer offense. certainly, Robert E. Lee’s whole scheme for shooting the initiative was once dependent squarely on that studying of his opponent. As Lee had initially scheduled it—Jackson starting his march on June 26 from curb Church at 3:00 A. M. —the military of the Valley may still arrive in place to show the Federal flank among 8 and 9 o’clock that morning. sooner than 8 o’clock the Richmond military used to be in place. Harvey Hill and Longstreet had their males hid within the woods along the Mechanicsville Turnpike working northeast out of Richmond towards Mechanicsville Bridge. Powell Hill was once a mile and three-quarters farther up the Chickahominy, ready to move at Meadow Bridge with 5 brigades. His 6th brigade, below Lawrence department, used to be farther upriver at part Sink. The traces in entrance of Richmond have been absolutely manned. “We are searhing for them each moment,” certainly one of Prince John Magruder’s males wrote domestic that morning. “Batteries, breast-works, entrenchments, and redoubts are as thick right here as fences at domestic. ” everybody waited on Jackson’s sign. It was once approximately this time that Lee discovered from Jackson’s courier that the sign will be later than anticipated. Lee may possibly calculate that beginning out from Ashland instead of from cut back Church might hold up Jackson by way of to 3 hours. He left the Dabb residence and rode out the Mechanicsville Turnpike to an remark publish on a bluff overlooking the Chickahominy crossing, and waited.

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