Pope and Lee Gather their Forces by the Rapidan; A Request to Arm Black Laborers

August 16, 1862 (Saturday) Union General John Pope could find no good ground. He had advanced his Army of Virginia, 50,000-strong, south from Cedar Mountain to the shores of the Rapidan River. The problem was, all of the hills were on the south side and Pope was on the north side, which provided only low,Read More

But For Your Race Among Us There Could Be No War

August 14, 1862 (Thursday) President Lincoln was a man whose opinions were often in flux. It’s not that he waffled on issues or spoke out of both sides of his mouth. Much of what he said and spoke, he honestly believed. That those things he said would differ from time to time meant only thatRead More

Two Great Armies Prepare to Move North

August 13, 1862 (Wednesday) General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, was not one to take rumors at face value. The Union Army of the Potomac had sat nearly motionless thirty miles east of Richmond for over a month. There had been recent stirrings and even an advance upon MalvernRead 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

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

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 Reacts to Retreat Order by Advancing on Malvern Hill

August 4, 1862 (Monday) General George B. McClellan, commander of the Union Army of the Potomac was appalled. His battered and depleted force had been recovering from the near-constant victories suffered during the Seven Days Battles over a month ago. At Harrison’s Landing, twenty-five miles east of Richmond, 90,000 men were encamped, waiting for GeneralRead 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

General-in-Chief Halleck Preparing to Withdraw McClellan’s Army?

If he wanted to do his job, first Halleck had to make sure everything between he and McClellan was smoothed over. He was then faced with a decision – attack Richmond or retreat. [July 30, 1862]