Peninsula Campaign

Peninsula Campaign
Spring, 1862
• Learn why General McClellan had success and
ultimately failure during The Peninsula
After Bull Run
Five days after the battle of Bull
Run, George B. McClellan was
placed in charge of the Union
Army. He renamed it the “Army
of the Potomac”. He organized it,
trained it, but refused to lead it
into battle.
Lincoln’s Frustration
Summer dragged into the fall and
it became too late in the year to
begin a campaign against the
confederates. Lincoln showed his
frustration by remarking that
McClellan had “the slows”. He
also posed, “If the general is not
going to use the army, then I
would like to borrow it”. Lincoln
order forces to be on the move by
February 22, 1862.
The Peninsula
McLellan decided he would
sail to Fortress Monroe on
“The Peninsula” between the
York and James rivers. The
spot where the Brutish
surrendered in 1781. He set
sail from Alexandria Virginia
March 17 and it took three
weeks to transport 121,000
troops, horses, wagons,
cannon, and supplies.
Advance to Richmond
Slowly, McClellan’s army began advancing toward Richmond.
John B. Magruder
Frustrating McClellan’s
advance was John Bankhead
Magruder. Marching about
500 men in a gigantic circle
in and out of a clearing, he
tricked McClellan into
thinking he had more troops
than he actually had.
Quaker Guns
Felled trees that mounted and
painted from a distance looked
like real cannon.
Virginia Creeper
McClellan advanced so slowly and cautiously he was given the
nickname, “The Virginia Creeper”.
McClellan advances to within
eight miles of Richmond. The
Union Army is so close the
church bells in town can be
Fair Oaks/Seven Pines
At the Battle of Fair Oaks,
sometimes called Seven
Pines, Confederate
commanding General Joseph
E. Johnston is severely
Robert E. Lee
For the first time in the war,
Robert E. Lee is given a field
command. His strategy is
simple: Richmond must not fall.
The Seven Days
Knowing that McClellan’s forces are isolated by overflowing
rivers, Lee launches a series of attacks: Mechanicsville, Gaines
Mill, Savages Station, Frayser’s Farm, and Malvern Hill.
The Confederates will lose all but one of the battles. But McClellan
fears Lee has a huge army and retreats back down The Peninsula. He
tells Lincoln he had not lost, he had just not won.
John Pope
McClellan is relieved of command.
He is replaced by John Pope.
Lincoln was warned by aides not to
trust Pope. He replied, “Everyone
back home knows the Pope’s are
liars. But that is reason why he
cannot be a good general.”
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