George McClellan, Portrait

Major General George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign was an ill-fated Union offensive designed to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia in 1862 and bring a quick end to the American Civil War. [Wikipedia Commons]

Peninsula Campaign Facts

March–July, 1862

Key facts about the American Civil War Peninsula Campaign.

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Also Known As

  • Peninsular Campaign

Date and Location

  • March–July, 1862
  • Virginia Peninsula

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.

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 117,000

Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 100,000

Estimated Union Casualties

  • 23,900 (16,800 killed and wounded, 7,100 captured or missing)

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • 29,600 (27,500 killed and wounded, 2,100 captured or missing)

Result

  • Confederate victory

Significance

  • The goal of the Peninsula Campaign was to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, and bring about a quick end to the American Civil War.
  • General Robert E. Lee replaced General Joseph E. Johnston as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia during the Peninsula Campaign (and for the remainder of the war) when Johnston was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines (May 31 – June 1, 1862).
  • McClellan’s invading Army of the Potomac had over 120,000 men.
  • The Battle of Seven Pines, also known as the Battle of Fair Oaks (May 31 – June 1, 1862), halted the Union advance on Richmond, just six miles from the Confederate capital.
  • A series of engagements collectively known as the Seven Days Battles drove the Union Army of the Potomac back down the peninsula, and away from Richmond.
  • On August 3, 1862, President Lincoln and General-of-Army Henry Halleck ordered McClellan to leave the peninsula and reinforce the Army of Virginia near Manassas Station.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Peninsula Campaign Facts
  • Coverage March–July, 1862
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 7, 2021
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