The Battle of Fair Oaks

Turning Point of McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign


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About the Book

In the spring of 1862, Union Major General George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac launched a bloody offensive up the Virginia Peninsula in an effort to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond. This study chronicles the pivotal but often overlooked turning point of the Peninsula Campaign—the Battle of Fair Oaks, also known as Seven Pines. At Fair Oaks, Confederate troops succeeded in driving back Union forces from the edge of Richmond before the Union troops stabilized their position.
Though both sides claimed victory, the battle marked the end of the Union offensive. Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, and Winfield Scott Hancock all rose to national prominence for their roles at Fair Oaks, while McClellan saw his reputation ruined. In the end, the legacy of Fair Oaks is one of missed chances and faulty execution, ensuring the war would continue for nearly three more years.

About the Author(s)

Robert P. Broadwater has written more than 35 books of military history and more than 100 magazine articles dealing with the American Civil War and the Revolutionary War. He lives in Bellwood, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Robert P. Broadwater
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 219
Bibliographic Info: 61 photos, 4 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, and index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5878-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8543-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. The Promise of a New Year      7
2. “On to Richmond” Once More      23
3. Up the Peninsula      41
4. To the Edge of Victory      62
5. Counteroffensive at Fair Oaks      85
6. Another Grim Day of Battle      114
7. Lee Takes the Offensive      132
8. Race for the James      151

Epilogue      172
Appendix 1. The Opposing Forces at Fair Oaks      179
Appendix 2. Casualties at Fair Oaks      182
Appendix 3. The Opposing Forces in the Peninsula Campaign      184
Appendix 4. Casualties of the Opposing Armies in the Peninsula Campaign      192
Appendix 5. Medal of Honor Winners at Fair Oaks      195
Appendix 6. “Kearny at Fair Oaks”      196
Chapter Notes      197
Bibliography      203
Index      209