Civil War: Peninsula Campaign, Valley Campaign, Chancellorsville
Peninsula Campaign through Antietam Lesson 7 Peninsula Campaign: McClellan George McClellan Among the Armys best educated officers the Young Napoleon Excellent organizer and administrator The right man to rebuild the Federal Army after the defeat at First Manassas Extremely cautious; always wanted more troops and more time to prepare
Prone to believe enemy was stronger than it really was Mutual distrust with Lincoln Peninsula Campaign: McClellan One of McClellans formative experiences in the Mexican War was the siege of Vera Cruz After the war McClellan was part of a team of US officers sent to observe the Crimean War Studied the siege of Sevastopol there No one in the US Army knew more about conducting sieges than McClellan Advocated the limited war and the conciliatory
approaches Peninsula Campaign: Joe Johnston Reinforced Beauregard at First Manassas Highest ranking officer to leave the US Army for the Confederacy However the letter Davis sent to the Senate requesting confirmation of his full generals listed Johnston fourth This infuriated Johnston and from that day on he had a difficult and quarrelsome relationship with Davis
Defensive-minded Peninsula Campaign: Faulty Intelligence McClellan near Washington with 100,000 men Johnston near Centreville with 40,000 Allan Pinkerton, McClellans intelligence officer, estimated Johnston had 150,000 Pinkertons exaggerated estimate reinforced McClellans natural tendency toward caution Pinkertons (left) skill in running a railroad detective agency did
not translate to being a good military intelligence officer Peninsula Campaign McClellan hoped to avoid attacking Johnston frontally Instead he hoped to insert himself between Johnston and Richmond, forcing Johnston to evacuate his strong Manassas-Centreville line in order to defend the Confederate capital Johnston evacuated before McClellan could implement his
first plan to land at Urbanna, so McClellan changed his landing site to Fort Monroe Peninsula Campaign: Security Lincoln was not overly enthusiastic about the Peninsula Campaign but he was happy that McClellan was at least doing something Among Lincolns concerns was the safety of Washington after McClellans army departed He asked McClellan to explain his plan for safeguarding the capital and McClellan never really gave Lincoln a straight answer McClellan was very condescending to Lincoln He seemed to think that as a professional soldier he
did not need to bother sharing his plans with an amateur Peninsula Campaign: Mass and Security Amphibious movement began March 17 121,500 men, 14,492 animals, 1,224 wagons, 200 cannon One British observer describes it as the stride of a giant (mass) On April 3 Lincoln started asking serious questions about the safety of Washington and became convinced it was inadequate
He ordered McDowells 30,000 man corps to remain in place rather than join McClellan (security) McClellans failure to make Lincoln feel comfortable about Washington came back to haunt him Peninsula Campaign: Confederate Defenses McClellan began his advance inland on April 4 Facing him was a 13,000 man force commanded by
John Magruder Magruder had a weak defensive line designed to trade space for time until a more solid defense could be formed Magruder was a very high strung personality and he started sending off panicky reports to Robert E. Lee who was serving as Daviss military advisor Lee tried to calm Magruder down and began a reconcentration of forces which would ultimately bring 53,000 Confederates into position to oppose McClellan (balance) Peninsula Campaign: Deception Magruder was not a particularly distinguished combat
general but he was an amateur thespian He put his acting talent to work to deceive McClellan Magruder marched a couple of his regiments out of a thicket into clear view of the Federal advanced guard The Confederates then disappeared into another woods, doubled back around while they were out of sight, and then repeated the process Peninsula Campaign: Deception The target of a military deception operation is the mind of the enemy commander It is always easier to make someone believe what they were already predisposed to believe
Thanks to Pinkertons exaggerated estimates and McClellans natural caution, McClellan was predisposed to believe the Confederates outnumbered him Magruders ruse worked perfectly Magruders nickname was the Great Demonstrator Peninsula Campaign: Yorktown Magruders deception, poor maps, difficult terrain, uninspired actions by subordinates, and McClellans natural caution led him to stop
his advance within 24 hours and begin siege operations against Yorktown (maneuver?) Joe Johnston said, Nobody but McClellan would have hesitated to attack. (offensive?) Mortars used in the Federal siege of Yorktown Peninsula Campaign: Ironclads The Confederates had converted the old USS Merrimack into an
ironclad and rechristened it the CSS Virginia The casemate walls contained 24 inches of oak and pine timbers which were then covered with four inches of armor plating Peninsula Campaign: Ironclads The presence of the Virginia posed a serious threat to the Federal fleet On March 8, the Virginia made its trial run and wreaked havoc among the five Federal blockade ships anchored in
Hampton Roads As the tide ebbed the Virginia withdrew to deeper waters, intending to finish her work the next day Peninsula Campaign: Ironclads By then however, the Federal ironclad, the Monitor, had arrived on the scene The two fought to a tactical draw, but again the Virginia had to withdraw to deeper waters giving the Monitor a strategic victory The Virginia remained a
threat, but fears that she would single-handedly destroy the Federal fleet were now abated Peninsula Campaign: Confederate Withdrawal On May 3 Johnston began to evacuate Yorktown and withdraw up the Peninsula This opened up the York and James River to Federal gunboats It also forced the abandonment of
Gosport Naval Yard and scuttling of the Virginia which opened up the James River to the Federals Currier and Ives print of the destruction of the Virginia Peninsula Campaign: Williamsburg and Drewrys Bluff Johnstons strategy was to withdraw to the immediate vicinity of Richmond in order to strengthen his
defenses and prevent McClellan from outmaneuvering him The Confederates fought a rear guard action at Williamsburg to cover the retreat and blocked a Federal Navy advance up the James River at Drewrys Bluff Jacksons Valley Campaign While all this is going on on the Peninsula, Stonewall Jackson was having a big effect in the Shenandoah Valley
The Valley represented a potential Confederate avenue of approach to Washington, which concerned Lincoln Still in his capacity as Daviss military advisor, Lee began coordinating with Jackson to help relieve pressure on the Peninsula While the Confederates were concentrating coastal troops at Richmond, their immediate response [to McClellans Peninsula Campaign] began with Jacksons important Valley campaign (synergy) Hattaway and Jones, 176 Jacksons Valley Campaign Shenandoah Valley Agricultural support for
Confederacy Controlled Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Avenue of approach into Maryland and Pennsylvania When Johnston withdrew from northern Virginia he left Jackson behind in the Valley Originally Jackson faced 38,000 Federals with only 4,500 of his own men Federal force grew to nearly 60,000 which Jackson kept
from threatening the Peninsula Jacksons Valley Campaign Jomini (1779-1869): Swiss military theorist who influenced many Civil War generals through his Summary of the Art of War Very geometrical and scientific approach to war Stressed interior lines
Exterior Lines Interior Lines Jacksons Valley Campaign Jackson used interior lines to neutralize Federal forces three times larger than his own Fought six battles between March 23 and June 9: Kernstown, McDowell, Front Royal, Winchester, Cross
Keys, and Port Republic Jacksons foot cavalry 676 miles in 48 marching days; an average of 14 miles a day Jacksons Valley Campaign Jacksons success in the Valley effected things on the Peninsula On May 18, McClellan had been told by Secretary of War Stanton that McDowells Corps would be marching from Fredericksburg where it had been held previously for fear of Washingtons safety Jacksons new threat caused Lincoln to change his mind and on May 24 he telegraphed McClellan, In
consequence of Gen. Banks critical position I have been compelled to suspend Gen. McDowells movement to join you. McDowell complained, If the enemy can succeed so readily in disconcerting all our plans by alarming us first at one point then at another, he will paralyze a larger force with a very small one. (simultaneity and depth) Peninsula Campaign: Seven Pines On May 28 Johnston received a report from Jeb Stuart that McDowell was not moving toward Richmond but was instead
returning to Fredericksburg With McDowell held in place thanks to Jackson, the Confederates could act more aggressively Johnston learned from other reconnaissance that McClellans army was divided by the Chickahominy River Jeb Stuarts cavalry gave the Confederacy an incredible intelligence advantage over McClellan
Peninsula Campaign: Seven Pines Johnston tried to crush the isolated southern wing of the Federal army in the Battle of Seven Pines May 31 Johnston mismanaged the battle, issued vague orders, and was wounded Robert E. Lee replaced him
Robert E. Lee Johnston was wellliked by the soldiers and Lee was initially looked at with suspicion However, even Johnston admitted, The shot that struck me down is the very best that has been fired in the Confederate cause yet. Lee Takes Command by Mort Kunstler
Robert E. Lee Lee is going to completely change the situation Good relationship with Davis Offensive-minded and extremely audacious Makes excellent use of intelligence and cavalry Strong advocate of the turning movement Seven Days Jacksons success allowed
Lee to concentrate his forces against McClellan Lee will defend Richmond with 20,000 and use 60,000 to attack Plan depended on the timely arrival of Jackson who was to attack Porter from the flank and rear Jackson was inexplicably late Result was Mechanicsville (June 26) turned out to be an unsupported frontal
attack rather than an envelopment Seven Days Gainess Mill (June 27) Another poor performance by Jackson limited Confederate victory, but Lee succeeded in causing McClellan to go on the defensive Savage Station (June 29) Fraysers Farm (June 30) Malvern Hill (July 1) Federal artillery defeated Confederate frontal assault McClellan withdrew to Harrison Landing under protection of Federal gunboats on the James
River Seven Days It would be 1864 before the Federal army again got as close to Richmond as it did during the Seven Days Principles of War and Elements of Operational Design in the Peninsula Campaign
Objective Offensive Mass Economy of force Maneuver Unity of command Security Surprise
Simplicity Synergy Simultaneity and depth Anticipation Balance Leverage Timing and tempo Operational reach and approach Forces and
functions Arranging operations Centers of gravity Direct versus indirect Decisive points Culmination Termination End of the Peninsula Campaign Even though McClellan had been defeated, his army was still in a strategic location, just 25 miles from Richmond and on a supply line it could keep open (it would be 1864
before the Federals got this close to Richmond again) One course would have been for Lincoln to keep the army where it was and remove the commander Instead, Lincoln ordered the Army of the Potomac to withdraw from the Peninsula Ultimately, most of the Army of the Potomac would come under the command of John Pope as the Army of Virginia Popes General Orders When Pope assumed command he issued an abrasive and boastful address on July 14 which served to alienate and insult many in his new command
Then issued a series of General Orders that certainly enraged the Confederacy and showed he had an aggressive and hostile policy toward civilians and private property That Lincoln acquiesced to these orders showed that perhaps he was shifting away from the mild, conciliatory approach to something more authoritarian Popes General Orders General Order Number 5 stated that the army should live off the land.
General Order Number 7 outlined how Pope planned to deal with the local citizenry. General Order Number 11 called for the immediate arrest of all disloyal male citizens and compelled them to either take an oath of allegiance to the United States or be deported further south. Pope appeared naively surprised when he learned that soldiers had taken his orders as a license to plunder and maraud, and he attempted to correct this situation with General Order Number 19. End of the Peninsula Campaign and Lees Offensive As soon as Lee ascertained
the army was withdrawing from the Peninsula, he went after Pope in northern Virginia Lee was able to operate within his enemys decision cycle Lee ordered his army to move the day of the Federal withdraw and before the first divisions of the Army of the Potomac had landed at Aquia Creek, Lee had raced north and had Pope surrounded just south of Manassas Lee and the Turning Movement
The Peninsula confirmed Lees belief in the turning movement and was the beginning of his partnership with Jackson Lee learned during the Seven Days the wisdom of not attacking [the Federals] in their strong and chosen positions. They ought always to be turned. He told Jackson, it was to save you the abundance of hard fighting that I ventured to suggest for your consideration not to attack the enemys strong points, but to turn his position I would rather you have easy fighting and heavy victories. Pope would be the first victim of this wisdom Second Manassas
Pope had been trying to relieve pressure on McClellan by operating against Confederate rail communications at Gordonsville and Charlottesville His forces were largely in defensive positions along the Rappahannock River When Lee realized McClellan was withdrawing, he boldly ordered Jackson to break things open by leading his 24,000 men on a wide swing around Popes right to strike his supply lines and cut his communications with
Washington Second Manassas Jackson marched 51 miles in two days, struck Manassas Junction, and then withdrew to a defensive position and waited for Lee to arrive with the rest of the army Pope ordered his scattered forces to concentrate near Centreville to counter Jackson and to be ready to receive McClellans reinforcements In the meantime, Longstreet arrived with 28,000 men and took positions on Jacksons right Second Manassas On Aug 30, Pope attacked
with 7,000 men he expected to use to finish off Jackson (who he thought was beaten and withdrawing) In reality, Pope was advancing into the jaws of a trap Jackson had not retreated at all but was standing fast with 18,000 men Concealed at a right angle was Longstreet with 28,000 fresh soldiers Second Manassas
Jackson not only held but forced the Federals to fall back Lee unleashed Longstreet and the jaws of the Confederate trap closed on Pope
The Federals suffered 14,462 casualties (the Confederates 9,474) Pope was transferred to Minnesota and the Army of Virginia was disbanded and incorporated into McClellans Army of the Potomac Lee is going to build on this victory to invade Maryland Second Manassas Discuss in terms of maneuver Antietam
In desperation, Lincoln restored McClellan to command As Lee marched into Maryland he expected the Federals to abandon their 12,000-man garrison at Harpers Ferry When they didnt, Lee was forced to divide his army in order to deal with this threat to his rear Harpers Ferry sits at the confluence of the Potomac and
Shenandoah Rivers Antietam Lee divided his army into four parts Three of them under Jackson headed toward Harpers Ferry A fourth under Longstreet headed for Boonsboro
Antietam Lees army was now scattered and McClellan had time to organize his forces He was aided by finding a copy of Lees plan Still McClellan lacked the killer instinct necessary to take full advantage of the situation The Lost Order
Antietam In the actual battle, McClellan moved slowly and committed his forces piecemeal which allowed Lee to shift his outnumbered forces from one threatened point to another Neither the Federal V or VI Corps, some 22,000 men, played a significant role in the battle Antietam Antietam was the bloodiest single
day of the war The Confederates suffered 13,700 casualties out of 40,000 engaged The Federals lost12,350 out of 87,000 The battle ended a tactical draw, but a strategic victory for the Federals because Lee was forced to withdraw back to Virginia It was enough of a victory for Lincoln to issue his Emancipation Proclamation Confederate dead in the Bloody Lane
The End of Conciliation Many Federal generals had sought to wage war consistent with Winfield Scotts limited approach in Mexico The idea was to practice a conciliatory policy that held that mild treatment of Southerners, their property, and their institutions would ultimately result in their returning their allegiance to the US McClellan argued for this practice in a letter he gave Lincoln at Harrisons Landing on July 8 stating A declaration of radical views, especially upon slavery, will rapidly disintegrate our present armies. Moves toward Emancipation
A few generals such as Ben Butler, John Fremont, and David Hunter however were pushing for emancipation Lincoln too was beginning to move in that direction and on July 22, 1862 he showed his cabinet a preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation But Lincoln needed a battlefield victory to give him an opportunity to make the Proclamation public Antietam accomplished that Emancipation Proclamation Issued September 22, 1862 That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free Emancipation Proclamation The Emancipation Proclamation changed the very nature of the war, giving it a completely new objective Conciliation was no longer an option
Represented a move toward total war The North was now not merely fighting to restore a union it thought was never legitimately separated. It was fighting for freedom of a race. The South was no longer fighting merely for independence. It was fighting for survival of its way of life. Diplomatic Impact The South had longed hoped for European recognition and intervention The Emancipation Proclamation made that virtually impossible because
England had abolished slavery in 1833 and France in 1848 John Slidell represented the Confederacy in France Emancipation Proclamation Discuss in terms of objective Next Lesson Student Presentations Vicksburg
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