Battle of Williamsburg Facts

May 5, 1862

Key facts about the Battle of Williamsburg.

George McClellan, Portrait

The Battle of Williamsburg was the first major engagement of Major General George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign. [Wikimedia Commons]

Also Known As

  • Battle of Fort Magruder

Date and Location

  • May 5, 1862
  • York County, near Williamsburg, Virginia


Principal Union Commanders

Principal Confederate Commanders

Union Forces Engaged

  • Army of the Potomac

Confederate Forces Engaged

  • Army of Northern Virginia

Number of Union Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 41,000

Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 32,000

Estimated Union Casualties

  • 2,239 (456 killed, 1,410 wounded, 373 captured/missing)

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • 1,703 (1570 killed and wounded, 133 missing)


  • Inconclusive


  • The Battle of Williamsburg was the first major engagement of the Peninsula Campaign.
  • Major General George B. McClellan called the Battle of Williamsburg “an accident caused by too rapid a pursuit.”

Timeline of the Peninsula Campaign

These are the main battles and events of the Peninsula Campaign in order. The battles that occurred from June 25 to July 1, 1862, are collectively known as the Seven Days Battles.