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Peninsula Campaign, 1862

George McClellan, Portrait, Brady

Prelude to the Peninsula Campaign Within twenty-four hours of the Union’s defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, the Lincoln administration called upon George B. McClellan to lead the Union war effort. McClellan spent the first few months of his command fortifying Washington, DC, and reorganizing federal forces. The Northern … Read more

Seven Pines, Battle, 1862, Facts

Joseph Johnston, Civil War General

Also Known As Battle of Fair Oaks Date and Location May 31 – June 1, 1862 Henrico County, Virginia Campaign Peninsula Campaign Principal Union Commanders Major General George B. McClellan Principal Confederate Commanders General Joseph E. Johnston Major General G.W. Smith Union Forces Engaged Army of the Potomac Confederate Forces Engaged Army of Northern Virginia … Read more

Seven Days Battles, 1862

George B. McClellan, General, USA, Civil War, LOC

Seven Days Battles Quick Facts Seven Days Battles Overview and History On March 17, 1862, Union General George B. McClellan launched his Peninsula Campaign. McClellan planned to transport the Army of the Potomac by ship to Fort Monroe, on the peninsula between the York and James Rivers in southeastern Virginia. With the bulk of the … Read more

Chancellorsville, Battle of – Summary

Thomas Stonewall Jackson, Illustration

Prelude to the Battle of Chancellorsville Following yet another decisive Union defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11–15, 1862), and General Ambrose Burnside’s failed January “Mud March”, President Abraham Lincoln was again searching for someone to lead his Federal forces to victory in the East. On January 25, 1863, Lincoln drafted General Orders, No. 20 … Read more

Overland Campaign, 1864

Ulysses S Grant, at Cold Harbor, Portrait

Events Leading Up to the Overland Campaign On March 10, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Ulysses S. Grant as General-in-Chief of the Armies of the United States. Grant brought with him, from his successes in the western theater of the war, a reputation for the doggedness Lincoln was seeking. Unlike previous Union generals, Grant was … Read more

Wilderness, Battle, 1864, Overview

James Longstreet, Portrait, Confederate General

Prelude to the Battle Grant in Charge of Federal Armies On March 10, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Ulysses S. Grant as General-in-Chief of the Armies of the United States. Grant brought with him, from his successes in the Western Theater of the war, a reputation for the doggedness Lincoln was seeking. Unlike other Union … Read more

Cold Harbor, Battle, 1864, Facts

Ulysses S Grant, at Cold Harbor, Portrait

Definition The Battle of Cold Harbor was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America from May 31, 1864, to June 12, 1864, during the American Civil War. Quick Facts Also Known As: The Battle of Cold Harbor is also called the “Second Battle of Cold Harbor.” Date Started: The … Read more

Fort Donelson, Battle of – Summary

Battle of Fort Donelson, Painting

Prelude to the Battle of Fort Donelson At the onset of the American Civil War, the State of Tennessee comprised most of the northern border of the Confederate States of America in the West. Defending that border was difficult for the Confederacy because Union troops might use any of three major rivers (the Mississippi, which … Read more

Shiloh, Battle of – Summary

Ulysses S Grant, at Cold Harbor, Portrait

Prelude At the onset of the American Civil War, the State of Tennessee comprised most of the northern border of the Confederate States of America in the West. Defending that border was difficult for the Confederacy because three major rivers (the Mississippi, which flows south to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Tennessee and Cumberland … Read more

Vicksburg Campaign, 1862-1863

Ulysses S Grant, at Cold Harbor, Portrait

Prelude to the Vicksburg Campaign At the onset of the American Civil War, the State of Tennessee comprised most of the northern border of the Confederate States of America in the West. Defending that border was difficult for the Confederacy because three major rivers (the Mississippi, which flows south to the Gulf of Mexico, and … Read more

Yorktown, Siege, 1862

George B. McClellan, General, USA, Civil War, LOC

Siege of Yorktown Quick Facts Siege of Yorktown Overview and History Within twenty-four hours of the Union’s defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861), the Lincoln administration called upon George B. McClellan to lead the Union war effort in the East. McClellan spent the first few months of his new command … Read more

Stones River, Battle, 1862, Overview

William Rosecrans, Portrait, Civil War General

Prelude Following the Battle of Perryville (October 8, 1862), Confederate General Braxton Bragg called off his Heartland Campaign and withdrew his forces from Kentucky to Tennessee. There, Bragg reorganized his command by merging forces with General Kirby Smith‘s Army of Kentucky to form the Army of Tennessee. In November, Bragg established a defensive position along … Read more

Chickamauga, Battle, 1863

William Rosecrans, Portrait, Civil War General

Battle of Chickamauga Prelude Following the Battle of Perryville (October 8, 1862), General Braxton Bragg called off his Confederate Heartland Offensive and withdrew his soldiers from Kentucky to Tennessee. There, Bragg merged forces with General Kirby Smith’s Army of Kentucky and reorganized his command to form the Army of Tennessee. In November, Bragg established a … Read more

Longstreet, James

James Longstreet, Portrait, Confederate General

Early Years James Longstreet was born in Edgefield District, South Carolina, on January 8, 1821, while his mother was visiting his mother-in-law. He was the fifth child and third son of James and Mary Ann Dent Longstreet. Longstreet’s parents owned a cotton plantation in northeast Georgia. When Longstreet was a boy, his father nicknamed him … Read more

Stuart, James Ewell Brown

JEB Stuart, Civil War General

Early Life James Ewell Brown Stuart (aka Jeb Stuart) was born on February 6, 1833, at Laurel Hill Farm, his family’s plantation, in Patrick County, Virginia. He was the eighth of eleven children of Archibald Stuart and Elizabeth Letcher Pannill Stuart. Stuart’s great-grandfather, Major Alexander Stuart, was a regimental commander in the Revolutionary War, and … Read more

Hill, Ambrose Powell

General AP Hill, Civil War

Early Life Ambrose Powell Hill was born on November 9, 1825, at Greenland, his father’s plantation near Culpeper, Virginia. His parents were Thomas and Frances Hill. U.S. Military Academy Cadet Hill attended local schools before entering the United States Military Academy in 1842. While at West Point, Hill and future Union General George B. McClellan … Read more

Hood, John Bell

John Bell Hood, Civil War General

Early Life John Bell Hood was born on June 1 or June 29, 1831, at Owingsville, Kentucky. Hood’s parents were Dr. John W. Hood and Theodosia French Hood. Although Hood’s father wanted his son to pursue a medical career, the military achievements of his grandfathers enamored Hood. U.S. Military Academy Cadet Hood’s uncle, U.S. Representative, … Read more

Pickett, George Edward

George Pickett, Confederate General

Early Life Historians disagree on the date of George Edward Pickett’s birth. Baptismal records show that he was born on January 16, 1825, in Richmond, Virginia. Other accounts have Pickett’s date of birth as January 25 or January 28. Whatever the correct date, Pickett was born in Richmond and raised on his prominent Virginia family’s … Read more

Early, Jubal Anderson

Jubal Early, General

Early Life Jubal Anderson Early was born on November 3, 1816, in Rocky Mount, Franklin County, Virginia. Early was the third of ten children born to Ruth Hairston Early and Joab Early, a wealthy tobacco farmer and local politician. After attending local schools and private academies in the Lynchburg and Danville, Virginia area, Early received … Read more

Fremantle, Arthur James Lyon

Arthur Lyon Fremantle, Civil War

Arthur Fremantle Quick Facts Early Life Arthur Lyon Fremantle was a British citizen born on November 11, 1835. He was the son of Major General John Fremantle and Agnes Lyon. Like his father and grandfather before him, Fremantle graduated from Sandhurst, the initial training center for British army officers. In 1852, Fremantle began a long … Read more