Back to top

Near Williamsburg, Virginia, forty-thousand pursuing Union troops clash with the Confederate rearguard

Civil War Battle, iconic image
Following their surprise abandonment of Yorktown, the sizeable Confederate army retreated towards Richmond.  Elements of General McClellan's Army of the Potomac pursued along muddy roads and a portion of the Confederate forces entrenched themselves as a rearguard near Williamsburg.  In the first pitched battle of the Peninsula Campaign, forty thousand Union men fought thirty thousand Confederates.  The battle was inconclusive, except for those among four thousand men killed or wounded there, and the Confederate retreat continued.  (By John Osborne)   
Source Citation: 
 Russel H. Beatie, The Army of the Potomac: McClellan's First Campaign, March 1862-May 1862 (New York: Savas Beatie, LLC, 2007), 510-520. 
Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1863), V: 3.
Chronicles of the Great Rebellion Against the United States of America (Philadelphia, PA: A. Winch, 1867), 27.