Battle of Malvern Hill
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Location: Henrico County, VA
               (near Glendale, VA)
Dates: July 1, 1862
Union Commander:  George B. McClellan, Major General
Confederate Commander:  Robert E. Lee, General

Battle Summary:
George B. McClellan had pushed his Army of the Potomac, up the James River peninsula, in what became know as the Peninsula Campaign.  It was a huge operation, delivering 100,000+ troops from Alexandria to Fortress Monroe.  McClellan led his army up the peninsula to the "Gates of Richmond" - where soldiers could see the steeples in the city.  At Seven Pines, Joseph E. Johnston, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia was seriously wounded and Robert E. Lee replaced him.

Starting on June 25, after Lee had organized his plans, he attacked the Army of the Potomac.  This began the Seven Days battle, which would push the Army of the Potomac into full retreat, with successive losses at Oak Grove, Beaver Dam Creek, Gaines's Mill and Savage's Station.  McClellan held Lee at Glendale (White Oak Swamp), giving his army time to prepare a defense at Malvern Hill.

The Union position at Malvern Hill was very superior.  While Malvern Hill is more of a long ridge, than a hill, it is protected by creeks on two sides, making a flanking move nearly impossible.  With 100+ Union cannon, from Fitz John Porter's V Corps and Samuel Heitzelman's III Corps covering the approaches to Malvern Hill, the federal troops prepared to fight.  Additionally, there were some 80,000 infantry troops dug in along the approaches to Malvern Hill.

Robert Lee, in consulting with James Longstreet determined to place 140 cannon along the two flanks of the Army of Northern Virginia - split evenly on the left, under Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and on the right, under his 1st Corps.  These two positions would rake the Union line, taking out their cannon and allowing for an infantry assault at the Union center.

As things worked out, delays in bringing up troops, and cannon caused the Confederate plan to go astray.  First, six batteries of Major General John Magruder turned the wrong way, causing a shortage of guns.  Then, poor communication of the infantry troops under Brigadier General Lewis Armistead, Magruder, Major General Benjamin Huger and Major General Daniel H. Hill, caused the infantry to be sent in piece meal, instead of as a coordinated infantry assault.  These troops were caught in a terrific musket crossfire and were force to drop down.  All along the line, it was the same.  The closest the rebels got, was on the far right, where troops under Brigadier General Robert Ransom, reached within 20 yards of the Union line, before being forced down.  By the time Magruder's troops arrived, darkness was falling and they were not sent in.

After the battle, Daniel H. Hill stated, "It was not war, it was murder."

Campaign: Seven Days

Outcome: U.S. Victory

Troop Strengths
Union: 80,000
Confederate: 80,000

Casualties (estimated):
Union: 3,000 (killed, wounded or missing/captured)
Confederate: 5,355 (killed, wounded or missing/captured)

Battle Aftermath:
While Robert E. Lee performed masterfully, in pushing the Army of the Potomac from Richmond, Malvern Hill was a big disappointment.  Stating, "Under normal circumstances, the Federal Army should have been destroyed.", :Lee's deep disappointment showed through.  The Union army deserves much of the credit, particularly Fitz John Porter, for scouting out such a easy position to defend.  Lee's inability to pin the Union army to the James River, allowed the Federal troops to withdraw troops to Harrison Landing with a minimum covering force at Malvern Hill. 
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