Something for the weekend. The mournful tones of Taps, the song written by Union general Daniel Butterfield, first sounded at the conclusion of the Seven Days on July 1, 1862. It is a fitting memorial to the Americans, wearing blue or gray, who died in those seven days 150 years ago. (more…)
As June 3oth dawned the Union army was in full retreat to the James. By noon, one-third of the Army of the Potomac had reached the James, while the other two-thirds was strung out on roads leading to the James between Glendale and White Oak Swamp. This presented a tempting target to General Lee. Ordering Jackson in the north to cross White Oak Creek and press the Union rear guard, the remainder of the Army of Northern Virginia, some 45,000 men, would attack two miles southwest at Glendale, and inflict what Lee hoped would be a crushing defeat on the Union forces marching to the James. It was a good plan that fell down almost completely in execution.
Jackson, with that strange lethargy that marred all his operations in the Seven Days, spent all of the day north of White Oak Creek, launching feeble assaults which were easily repulsed by the Union VI Corp under General William Franklin.
The Confederate attack at Glendale fared little better. Huger’s division failed to participate in the offensive, slowed by felled trees and the failure of Huger to take an alternative route. Holmes and Magruder launched a weak attack against the V Corps of General Fitz John Porter, the attack being broken up by Union artillery fire, supplemented by naval bombardment.
At 4:00 PM the divisions of Longstreet and A.P. Hill attacked at Glendale with the fighting centering on Frazier’s Farm, held by the Pennyslvania Reserves division of the V Corps under General George McCall. Hard fighting continued until 8:30 PM. The Union line held, and the Union army continued its retreat to Malvern Hill on the James. The battle resulted in similar casualties for both sides: Confederate 3,673 and Union 3, 797. A golden opportunity to do severe damage to the Union army had been missed due to the poor execution which was a hallmark of the inexperienced Confederate command structure during the Seven Days. Here is General Lee’s report written on March 6, 1863: (more…)