The Battle of Hanover Court House

Turning Point of the Peninsula Campaign, May 27, 1862

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About the Book

One year into the Civil War, beset by military and political pressures, General George B. McClellan committed his Army of the Potomac to the Peninsula Campaign, with the capture of Richmond his ultimate goal. Hampered by Lincoln’s demand for troops to protect Washington, a limited Union Army entered a series of battles around the community of Hanover Court House, Virginia. Although they forced a Confederate retreat, they missed the opportunity to press on and capture Richmond—an opportunity that never came again. Here is the first detailed look at the battle most widely known as Hanover Court House and Slash Church, focusing on the engagements between Union V Corps commander Fitz John Porter and Confederate General Lawrence O’Bryan Branch. Photographs are included, along with appendices featuring the official reports of both commanders and lists of casualties from both sides.

About the Author(s)

Michael C. Hardy has written numerous books, articles and essays focusing on the Civil War. He has won the Willie Parker Peace History Book Award six times. He has also been presented the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal by the United Daughters of the Confederacy for his work on preserving Confederate history. His articles have appeared in nationally syndicated magazines, and he frequently presents lectures and interpretive programs on Appalachia’s role in the Civil War. He lives in western North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Michael C. Hardy

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 213
Bibliographic Info: 29 photos, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6920-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9185-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!”: Hanover County      5
2. “But You Must Act”: McClellan and the Peninsula Campaign      11
3. “Preserve a Firm Front to the Enemy”: McDowell, Johnston, and Fredericksburg      33
4. “Charge-Charge Them, Brave Boys”: The Battle of Kinney Farm and Hanover Court House      45
5. “Pop! Pop! Bang! Bang! for About an Hour”: The Battle of Peake’s Turnout      67
6. “Every Room a Sickening Contrast to the Splendid Furniture”: Hospitals      93
7. “Morning Came, and Stiff and Sore We Rose”: The Day After      99
8. “Our Boys Are Yet Cheerful, and Feel Confident of Success”: Richmond      111
9. “I Take Exception”: The Battle in the Press      115
10. “We Have a Hard Road to Travel”: The Battle in Perspective      129
11. “It Still Should Not Be Forgotten”: The Battlefield Today      137

Appendices
A. Order of Battle      141
B. Fitz John Porter’s Official Report      145
C. Lawrence O’Bryan Branch’s Official Report      149
D. Casualties      153
Notes      179
Bibliography      195
Index      201

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Winner, Willie Parker Peace Award—North Carolina Society of Historians
  • “Steeped in detail…excellent…comprehensive…a must-read”—The Civil War News
  • “Michael Hardy is to be commended…a high end publication…well written…will likely be considered the standard work on the subject for some time to come”—CWBA