No military campaign had more influence on the course of the Civil War than these Seven Days' battles. George McClellan's army of more than 100,000 Union soldiers landed at Fort Monroe in Spring of 1862, and fought its way up the peninsula.
By mid-May the Army of the Potomac lay on the outskirts of Richmond, hoping to capture the capital of the Confederacy and perhaps end the war. If that strategy succeeded the nation might be reunified, but without the abolltion of slavery.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee chose not to wait for the Federal army's next move. Instead he seized the initiative, and on June 26 advanced across the Chickahodainy
River with nearly 45,000 soldiers. That action opened a week-long series of battles that resulted in the Union army retreating to the banks of the James
Malvern Hill Battlefield
Union commanders chose an ideal location to fight their last battle of the Seven Days. As many as 40 cannon covered the one-half-mile front, stretching from the slopes of Crew's Run on the left to a similar drop to Western Run on the right. Nearly 80,000 Union soldiers spread out behind or in support of the guns. Open cultivated
fields dotted by shocks of harvested wheat stretched out for half a mile. It was one of the strongest positions held by either army during the war.
We are also passing by several plantations including Sherwood - the former Home of Ninth President John Tyler.His family still owns the place. I ate lunch underneath the shade of a tree planted by President Tyler.