A Truce Over the Battlefield; Jackson in Retreat?

August 11, 1862 (Monday) Both armies still clung to their ground. Union General John Pope’s Army of Virginia stared across the field of bodies towards Stonewall Jackson’s Confederate force. Since the day of the battle, Jackson’s entire force of 21,000 had been on the field. In the days since, Pope’s concentrated force rose to moreRead More

McClellan Prepares the Coup Against his “Enemies of the Country and of the Human Race”

August 10, 1862 (Sunday) It might have been difficult for some to fathom that Union General George McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac, believed himself the instigator of a plot which, if accomplished, would force the hand of Washington to bow to his desires. It was not, however, difficult for his wife toRead More

Jackson Falls into Old Habbits, Both Good and Bad, at the Battle of Cedar Mountain

August 9, 1862 (Saturday) Union General John Pope was doing what he could to concentrate his Army of Virginia at Culpeper Court House. He knew that Stonewall Jackson’s entire force of 22,500 was rapidly moving towards him from the south, and suspected that General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia would be along shortly.Read More

The Marching and Fury of Jackson and Hill; Sigel “Slow and Stupid”

August 8, 1862 (Friday) Stonewall Jackson slept little the previous night. He had tried to get some rest on a stile in the streets of Orange Court House, but then moved to the house of a local.1 At some point, possibly between the stile and the house, Jackson issued marching orders for the morning. TheyRead More

McClellan Abandons Malvern Hill Without a Fight; Jackson Suddenly Marching

August 7, 1862 (Thursday) For two days, Federal troops under General Joe Hooker had held the retaken Malvern Hill, east of Richmond. General George McClellan had sent them out under the precept of testing the rumors that the Confederates were abandoning their capital city. They had pushed back the Rebel cavalry, who had reported theRead More

The CSS Arkansas is Lost; Garnett Thrashes Jackson with His Own Words

August 6, 1862 (Wednesday) The crew of the CSS Arkansas had done their best to limp their vessel from Vicksburg to Baton Rouge. There, they had hoped to aid General John Breckinridge in recapturing Louisiana’s state capital. Just as they pulled in sight of the city, one of her engines died, while the other pushedRead More

Rebel Failure at Baton Rouge; Federals Take Malvern; Jackson vs. Garnett

August 5, 1862 (Tuesday) General John Breckinridge had begun his march from Camp Moore with nearly 5,000 troops. Due to disease, unforgiving humidity, and the hard, sixty mile tramp towards Union-held Baton Rouge, by this date, his force was half that. As he was losing men, Breckinridge had heard that Federal forces placed in defenseRead More

McClellan’s Army of the Potomac Ordered to Retreat Off the Peninsula

August 3, 1862 (Sunday) “In consequence of the incompetency of guides furnished me,” wrote an incredibly virulent General Joe Hooker, “I regret to be obliged to inform you that I have deemed it expedient to return to camp.” Based upon rumors delivered from Washington that General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was leaving Richmond, GeneralRead More

McClellan Gives it One More Shot; Pope Begins to Move

August 2, 1862 (Saturday) For the past several days, rumors had been flying from General John Pope’s Army north of Richmond to Washington to General George McClellan’s army east of Richmond. The Rebel Army of Northern Virginia, as the rumors told, was apparently abandoning the Confederate capital. Some placed the destination far to the westRead More

John Buford Promoted to Field Command; Stonewall’s New Problems

Utterly fed up with one of his cavalry commanders, Pope places a relative unknown, John Buford, at the head of a brigade. Meanwhile, Jackson needs and gets more troops – but there’s a problem. [July 27, 1862]