Civil War Battles of Virginia

White Oak Swamp

White Oak Swamp (June 30, 1862) – The following day, also in Henrico County, the White Oak Swamp battle took place between Union Major General William Franklin and Confederate Major General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s forces. Union rearguard under Major General William Franklin stopped Jackson’s divisions at the White Oak Bridge crossing, resulting in an artillery duel, while the main battle raged two miles farther south at Glendale or Frayser’s Farm. White Oak Swamp can be considered part of the Glendale engagement. In the end, 500 men were dead.

Glendale (June 30, 1862) – Known by several names, including Nelson’s Farm, Frayser’s Farm, Charles City Crossroads, White Oak Swamp, New Market Road, Riddell’s Shop, this skirmish occurred on the same date as the White Oak conflict, also in Henrico County. On June 30, Huger’s, Longstreet’s, and A.P. Hill’s divisions converged on the retreating Union army in the vicinity of Glendale or Frayser’s Farm. Longstreet’s and Hill’s attacks penetrated the Union defense near Willis Church, routing McCall’s division. McCall was captured. Union counterattacks by Hooker’s and Kearny’s divisions sealed the break and saved their line of retreat along the Willis Church Road. Huger’s advance was stopped on the Charles City Road. Franklin delayed ” Stonewall” Jackson’s divisions at White Oak Swamp.

Confederate Major General T.H. Holmes made a feeble attempt to turn the Union left flank at Turkey Bridge but was driven back by Federal gunboats in James River. Union generals Meade and Sumner and Confederate generals Anderson, Pender, and Featherston were wounded. This was Lee’s best chance to cut off the Union army from the James River. That night, McClellan established a strong position on Malvern Hill. Totals loss was an estimated 6,500.

Additional Information:

Richmond National Battlefield Park
3215 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-226-1981 ext. 23

Battle of Malvern Hill

Malvern Hill (July 1, 1862) – The last of the Seven Days’ Battles, this encounter is sometimes referred to as Poindexter’s Farm. On July 1, 1862, General Robert E. Lee launched a series of disjointed assaults on the nearly impregnable Union position on Malvern Hill. The Confederates suffered more than 5,300 casualties without gaining an inch of ground. Despite his victory, McClellan withdrew to entrench at Harrison’s Landing on James River, where gunboats protected his army. This ended the Peninsula Campaign.  When McClellan’s army ceased to threaten Richmond, Lee sent “Stonewall” Jackson to operate against Major General John Pope’s army along the Rapidan River, thus initiating the Northern Virginia Campaign.  The Union victory resulted in a loss of 8,500 lives.

Additional Information:

Richmond National Battlefield Park
3215 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-226-1981 ext. 23

Northern Virginia Campaign (August 1862)

Also known as the Second Bull Run Campaign or Second Manassas Campaign, this was a series of battles fought in Virginia during August and September 1862 in the Eastern Theater. Confederate General Robert E. Lee followed up his successes of the Seven Days Battles in the Peninsula Campaign by moving north toward Washington, D.C., and defeating Major General John Pope and his Army of Virginia.

Cedar Mountain (August 9, 1862) – Also called the Battle of Slaughter’s Mountain or Battle of  Cedar Run, this large conflict occurred in Culpeper County. Union Major General John Pope was placed in command of Virginia’s newly constituted Army on June 26, 1862. Confederate General Robert E. Lee responded to Pope’s dispositions by dispatching Major General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson with 14,000 men to Gordonsville in July. General Ambrose P. Hill’s division later reinforced Jackson. In early August, Pope marched his forces south into Culpeper County to capture the rail junction at Gordonsville. On August 9th, General Jackson and Major General Nathaniel Banks’s corps tangled at Cedar Mountain, with the Federals gaining an early advantage. A Confederate counterattack led by General Hill repulsed the Federals and won the day. Confederate General William Winder was killed. This battle shifted fighting in Virginia from the Peninsula to Northern Virginia, giving Lee the initiative. The Confederate victory resulted in an estimated 1,307 Confederate casualties and 1,400 Union casualties.

Rappahannock Station I (August 22-25, 1862) – Also known as the Battle of Waterloo Bridge, White Sulphur Springs, Lee Springs, or Freeman’s Ford, these skirmishes, which took place over four days, occurred in Culpeper and Fauquier Counties. In early August, General Robert E. Lee determined that Union Major General George B. McClellan’s army was being withdrawn from the Peninsula to reinforce General John Pope. He sent General James Longstreet from Richmond to join Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s wing near Gordonsville and arrived to take command on August 15th. On August 20-21, Pope withdrew to the line of the Rappahannock River. On August 23rd, Confederate Brigadier General J.E.B Stuart’s cavalry made a daring raid on Pope’s headquarters at Catlett Station, showing that the Union right flank was vulnerable to a turning movement. Over the next several days, from August 22nd to the 25th, the two armies fought a series of minor actions along the Rappahannock River, including Waterloo Bridge, Lee Springs, Freeman’s Ford, and Sulphur Springs, resulting in a few hundred casualties. Together, these skirmishes primed Pope’s army along the river, while Jackson’s wing marched via Thoroughfare Gap to capture Bristoe Station and destroy Federal supplies at Manassas Junction, far in the rear of Pope’s army. The inconclusive battles resulted in estimated total casualties of 225.

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