Sometimes You Are Missing the Forest

While looking for some trees in a forest, sometimes you are missing the forest.

This is what happened with Alexander Bennett’s next battle after Golding’s Farm on 26 June 1862. There were two more battles that he was in three days later. 

Savage’s Station on the 29th and White Oak Swamp on the 30th.  Soldiers must have been elated to fight again…

This is a Website that sums up the Seven Days Battles.

June 29

On June 29 Confederates south of the Chickahominy River found the Union trenches empty and started their pursuit. Longstreet and A. P. Hill marched twenty miles in the heat to be in position. But Huger received conflicting orders and spent his day marching. Jackson believed he was to stay north of the Chickahominy instead of crossing the river and heading south and east as Lee had intended. Magruder alternated between aggression and worry that Union troops would attack him, in part causing Huger’s back-and-forth marching.

Eventually Magruder attacked the Union rear guard at Savage’s Station, formerly McClellan’s advance base. Union general Samuel Heintzelman continued his retreat, leaving behind Union general Edwin V. Sumner’s Second Corps and another division—more than enough troops to stop Magruder despite an initial Confederate success. The rest of McClellan’s army and the trains continued toward the James during the day, and the rear guard followed that night.

June 30

June 30 was the culmination of Lee’s pursuit plan. Despite the disorder of June 29, his pieces were in place for a glorious victory. McClellan kept more than half of his army near the Glendale crossroads, which was vital to the retreat because most of the major roads from the Richmond area to the James River converged there. Jackson and D. H. Hill would, by their presence, force the Union troops guarding White Oak Swamp Bridge to remain north of Glendale, attacking them if possible. Huger would do the same on the Charles City Road. Longstreet and A. P. Hill, joined by Magruder if the latter could move quickly enough, would then drive toward the Willis Church Road south of Glendale to cut McClellan’s retreat route.

Once again Longstreet and A. P. Hill performed well while the other generals struggled. Jackson contented himself with a bombardment at White Oak Swamp Bridge, allowing thousands of Union troops to reinforce the Glendale lines. Huger’s failure was on a smaller scale but just as complete. Magruder spent June 30 as Huger had spent June 29, marching to no effect. So Longstreet and Hill attacked unsupported, and broke the Union line initially before Union reinforcements made possible by Jackson’s and Huger’s failures pushed them back. While the exhausted Confederates rested, the victorious Union troops joined the remainder of the army on the relatively safe high ground at Malvern Hill.

More info on this site.

Savage’s Station   

Other Names: None

Location: Henrico County

Campaign: Peninsula Campaign (March-September 1862)

Date(s): June 29, 1862

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Edwin Sumner [US]; Maj. Gen. John Magruder [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions

Estimated Casualties:   4,700 total (US 2,500 wounded were captured)

Description: Fourth of the Seven Days’ Battles. On June 29, the main body of the Union army began a general withdrawal toward the James River.  Magruder pursued along the railroad and the Williamsburg Road and struck Sumner’s Corps (the Union rearguard) with three brigades near Savage’s Station.  Confederate Brig. Gen. Richard Giffith was mortally wounded during the fight.  Jackson’s divisions were stalled north of the Chickahominy. Union forces continued to withdraw across White Oak Swamp, abandoning supplies and more than 2,500 wounded soldiers in a field hospital.

Result(s): Inconclusive

CWSAC Reference #: VA019

source

Estimated Casualties:   4,700 total (US 2,500 wounded were captured)

Inconclusive!

Glendale/White Oak Swamp   

Other Names: Nelson’s Farm, Frayser’s Farm, Charles City Crossroads, White Oak Swamp, New Market Road, Riddell’s Shop

Location: Henrico County

Campaign: Peninsula Campaign (March-September 1862)

Date(s): June 30, 1862

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. William Franklin, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson [CS]

Forces Engaged: Armies

Estimated Casualties: 7000 total

Description:

Glendale – This is the fifth of the Seven Days’ Battles. 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.   “Stonewall”  Jackson’s divisions were delayed by Franklin at White Oak Swamp. Confederate Maj. Gen. 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.

White Oak Swamp – The Union rearguard under Maj. Gen. 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.

Result(s): Inconclusive

CWSAC Reference #: VA020

source

Estimated Casualties: 7000 total

Inconclusive!

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