Second Period of The Campaign of 1862


Chapter X Pages: 110-112

"During this period the Government and the Confederates conducted the war on contrary principles. The Government sought to save the Union by fighting as a Confederacy; the Confederates sought to destroy it by fighting as a nation. The Government recognized the States, appealed to them for troops, adhered to voluntary enlistments, gave the governors power to appoint all commissioned officers and encouraged them to organize new regiments. The Confederates abandoned State sovereignty, appealed directly to the people, took away from them the power to appoint commissioned officers, vested their appointment in the Confederate President, refused to organize war regiments, abandoned voluntary enlistments, and adopting the republican principle that every citizen owes his country military service, called into the army every white man between the ages of 18 and 35. " (45)

On June first General Robert E. Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia then in the vicinity of Richmond, (46) but he waited until a series of successes in the Shenandoah Valley (47) permitted General "Stonewall" Jackson to join him with some 18,500 men, (48) and, in conjunction with other re-enforcements that reached him during the month, enabled him to concentrate about 90,000 troops (49) behind entrenched lines between the James and Chickahominy rivers, in close proximity to McClellan whose army numbered 105,445. (50) On June 26th Lee assumed the offensive and the "Seven Days' Campaign" began. A succession of hard-fought battles (51) ended in a bloody repulse of the Confederates at Malvern Hill on July 1st, after which McClellan withdrew his army from Richmond. (52)

The Federal Government then endeavored to unite at Aquia Creek (53) the scattered armies under McClellan, Burnside and Pope, (54) but Lee had meanwhile begun his advance toward Washington. (55) On August 9th, his van under Jackson attacked General Banks at Cedar Mountain, (56) but a spirited engagement (57) compelled the former to fall back across the Rapidan and to await re-enforcements. On the 29th and 30th Bull Run witnessed a second victory for the South, (58) which drove Pope within the fortifications of Washington. (59) On September 4th the Confederate army crossed the Potomac near Leesburg, (60) and four days later General Lee issued at Frederick a proclamation inviting the people of Maryland to join the Southern cause. (61)

In the West the Confederates were equally successful. General Bragg's army was increased to 50,000 men by conscription, turned Buell's flank, threatened Nashville, captured the garrison of 2,100 men at Mumfordsville on September 17th, menaced Louisville and marched to Frankfort, Kentucky, where he was joined by the 3rd Corps under General Kirby Smith which had defeated Nelson at Richmond, Ky., on August 29th and had advanced within 50 miles of Cincinnati. On September 13th General Price captured Luka, Mississippi, and on October 4th General Rosecrans inflicted a severe repulse on a Confederate force of 22,000 under Van Dorn and Price, which attempted to drive him out of his entrenchments at Corinth, Mississippi. (62)

"With the exception of the victories of Luka and Corinth an unbroken chain of disasters marked the second period of 1862. (63) The withdrawal of the Army of the Potomac from the James River to Washington and Alexandria, the invasion of Maryland, and the retreat of the Army of the Ohio to Louisville, (64) produced a depression in the public mind nearly as great as that which succeeded the battle of Bull Run. " (65)

FOOTNOTES ON CHAPTER 10 Pages: 110-112 (45-65)

45. Upton, p. 275.

46. Alexander, p. 109; Long, p. 160.

47. At McDowell on May 8th; Front Royal, May 23rd; Winchester, May 25th; Charlestown and Harper's Ferry, May 28th; Cross Keys, June 8th; ending with Port Republic on the 9th.__Alexander, pp. 94-108; Battles and Leaders, II, pp. 282-298.

48. Alexander, p. 112.

49. Battles and Leaders, II, p. 317; Ropes, p. 164.

50. Official Records, XI, Part II, p. 238; Battles and Leaders, II, p. 315; Ropes, p. 159.

51. Mechanicsville on June 26th; Gaines' Mills, June 27th; Savage Station, June 29th; White Oaks Swamp and Charles City Cross Roads, June 30th.

52. Battles and Leaders, II, pp. 180-187, 319-427; Comte de Paris, II, pp. 73-148; Swinton, pp. 140-165; Ropes, II, pp. 170-212; Alexander, pp. 107-174; McClellan's Own Story, pp. 410-440; Long, pp. 170-177 Longstreet, pp. 120-152; Gordon, pp. 70-79.

The Union losses were 1,734 killed, 8,062 wounded and 6,053 captured or missing, a total of 15,849.

The Confederates had 3,286 killed, 15,909 wounded and 949 missing or captured, the total being 20,135.__Battles and Leaders, II, pp. 315-and 317; Alexander, p. 171.

McClellan, pp. 440 agrees with the above estimate of the Union losses, but gives those of the Confederates at 19,749.

53. Near Alexandria, Virginia.

54. On August 4th Burnside with 8,000 men__who had been withdrawn from North Carolina (p.110) to Fort Monroe__reached Aquia Creek, and on the 14th McClellan started his movement from Harrison's Landing.

On June 26th General Pope (p.110) was appointed to the command of the Army of Virginia composed of the forces under Fremont, Banks and McDowell, and next day fixed his headquarters at Washington, but it was not until August 1st that he started to concentrate his army in the direction of Gordonsville.

On July 11th the command of the Union armies was given to General H.W. Halleck as General-in-Chief, but he did not reach Washington from the West until the 22nd.

55. On July 27th.__Alexander, p. 180.

56. Jackson had about 24,000 troops: Banks about 17,900.__Ibid, P. 180; Battles and Leaders, II, p. 496.

57. The Union losses were 2,381; the Confederate, 1,365.__Battles and Leaders, II, p. 496.

58. Pope's army was so scattered that he went into action with only 35,000 (Ropes, II, p. 282), but he subsequently concentrated his forces to the number of from 63 to 65,000. The Total Confederate strength was in the neighbourhood of 54,000.__Ibid, II, pp. 497-500; Alexander, pp. 204, 211; Ropes, II, pp. 275, 282.

The losses in this battle have never been separately reported.

59. Alexander, p. 218; LOng, pp. 182-200; Longstreet, pp. 153-198.

60. Ropes, II, p. 329.

61. Upton, p. 276; Long, pp. 207-209. The Union losses in this campaign from the Rappahannock to the Potomac were 14,462, the Confederate 9,474.__Battles and Leaders, II, pp. 499-500. Alexander, p. 219, gives Lee's losses as 9,112.

62. The Army of the Mississippi numbered 23,077 and its casualties amounted to 2,520; the Army of West Tennessee under Van Dorn was "about 22,000 men" and its losses 4,838.__Official Records, XVII, Part I, pp. 246 and 378; Battles and Leaders, II, p. 760.

63. Accounts of this campaign are given by the Comte de Paris, II, pp. 360-417; Battles and Leaders, II, pp. 717-759; Grant, Memoirs, I, pp. 394-421; Greene, The Mississippi (Campaigns of the Civil War series), pp. 29-54; Upton, pp. 276-277.

64. This was due to the dispersion by Halleck's orders of the army of 120,000 which had entered Corinth on May 30th, coupled with the bold offensive of Bragg. These two factors reduced the Union armies in the West to a passive defensive.__Grant, I, pp. 383, 394-395; Greene, p. 35; Ropes, II, pp. 95, 218 and 384.

65. Upton, p. 277.


Website: The History
Article Name: Second Period of The Campaign of 1862
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: From my collection of Books: The Military Unpreparedness of the United States- A History of American Land Forces from Colonial Times until June 1, 1915. By Frederic Louis Huidekoper; Publisher: The Macmillan Company-New York 1916
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