Authored by War Department
On the whole the Peninsular Campaign was, on the part of the Confederates, a campaign of good plans and bad execution. The chief blame rests upon Stonewall Jackson. In all these operations the “Jackson of the Chickahominy,” as General Alexander aptly puts the terms, was a different man from “the* Jackson of the Valley.” Of all those that marvel at Jackson’s brilliant work before and after the Seven Days’ Campaign there is none to offer a reasonable excuse for his utter failure in this campaign. On the part of the Federals it was a campaign of neglected opportunities. Perhaps McClellan’s best opportunity fell to him on the day of Gaines’s Mill. All that day Magruder with only 25,000 men kept up a “clatter” in front of Richmond; while McClellan had 60,000 south of the Chickahominy, but made no effort to take the city. He and his commanders were completely fooled by Magruder.
In this campaign the great benefit of systematic training was again made manifest. At the first battle of Bull Run two mobs confronted each other; the regular artillery and Sykes’s battalion of regular infantry and Palmer’s squadron of regular cavalry were the only troops in the battle that acted like soldiers. In the Peninsular Campaign, on the contrary, the rank and file of both armies fought and marched like veterans, and the best of veterans. A year of service and training had made the difference.
Nov 12 2014
1503193306 / 9781503193307
US Trade Paper
7″ x 10″
Black and White
History / United States / Civil War