While Confederate defenders at Petersburg manned their lines in the predawn hours of July 30, 1864, a long fuse sputtered in the earth beneath them.

Peninsula Campaign

Bloody Fiasco at the Crater

By Arnold Blumberg

In the summer of 1864, after six weeks of virtually constant combat in the Wilderness area of northern Virginia, the Union and Confederate armies of Ulysses S. Read more

A visit to the Civil War surgeon, often literally a “sawbones,” was a horror more feared than death on the battlefield.

Peninsula Campaign

Healers or Horros: Civil War Medicine

By Richard A. Gabriel

Safe behind its ocean barriers, the United States paid scant attention to the wars that raged abroad during the early 19th century, taking little notice of the lessons that might have been learned from the European experience with mass killing. Read more

The Irish Rifles (37th New York Volunteers) fought with courage and discipline at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Peninsula Campaign

The Irish Rifles At the Battle of Chancellorsville

By Kevin M. O’Beirne

The city of New York provided more regiments than did many states during the Civil War, and the deeds of several of its regiments, such as the 9th New York “Hawkins’s Zouaves,” 39th New York “Garibaldi Guard,” and 42nd New York “Tammany Regiment” are well known. Read more

Peninsula Campaign

Union Generals of the American Civil War: George McClellan

by Mike Haskew

General George McClellan was a key figure in the prosecution of the American Civil War, particularly during 1862, when he led the Union Army of the Potomac during the Peninsula Campaign, a failed offensive to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond in the spring, and the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single day in American history, on September 17, 1862. Read more

Peninsula Campaign

Stalemate at Seven Pines

By David Norris

On the last day of May 1862, heavy gunfire rumbled and thundered in the distance beyond the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Read more

Peninsula Campaign

Dying to Get Home: PTSD in the Civil War

By Kevin L. Cook

A slight knee wound brought the New Jersey boy to a Washington military hospital, but “his mind had suffered more than his body,” wrote volunteer nurse Louisa May Alcott. Read more

Peninsula Campaign

Battle of Antietam: Clash in the Cornfield

By Michael E. Haskew

The White House was a somber place in the summer of 1862. The Civil War was in the midst of its second costly year, and the Union armies had yet to win a significant victory in the eastern theater. Read more

Peninsula Campaign

Battle of Mechanicsville: McClellan’s Unexploited Victory

By John Walker

After an almost uninterrupted, four-month-long string of Union successes beginning in early 1862, followed by the advance of a 100,000-man enemy army to the eastern outskirts of its capital at Richmond, Virginia, the Confederacy suddenly found itself in a life-or-death struggle for its very survival. Read more

Peninsula Campaign

City Point Bombing

By William E. Welsh

By the Summer of 1864, it was no longer likely the Army of Northern Virginia would invade the North a third time, would launch another major offensive, or even drive Union forces away from Richmond and Petersburg. Read more