Posted By Norman Gasbarro on April 20, 2011
The Seven Days Battles, occurring from 25 June 1862 to 1 Jul 1862, resulted in a retreat of Union forces away from the Confederate capital of Richmond and down the Virginia peninsula. The Union Army was headed by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan and the Confederate Army by Gen. Robert E. Lee. Battles took place at Oak Grove, Gaines’ Mill, Garnett’s and Golding’s Farm, Savage’s Station, and Harrison’s Landing on the James River. The final battles were at Glendale, where poorly executed orders from Lee led to Union forces retreating to strong defensive positions, and at Malvern Hill, where Lee’s forces suffered heavy casualties in failed frontal assaults against McClellan’s artillery and infantry. McClellan ended up in safe positions along the James River, but the Union Army had nearly 16,000 casualties as a result of the seven days of fighting; Lee lost more than 20,000 men. Lee correctly guessed that McClellan would not again press forward against Richmond and he began preparing his army to move north into northern Virginia and Maryland.
Many men from the Lykens Valley area participated in the Seven Days Battles. Most would have served with the Pennsylvania regiments who were part of the several army corps that made up McClellan’s forces. Some served with regiments from other states or served with regular army forces, but those will not be discussed in this post. To help identify those Pennsylvania regiments and the generals who commanded them, the following extract from the “Order of Battle” is presented:
THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC – Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, Commanding
SECOND ARMY CORPS – Brig. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner
FIRST DIVISION, Brig. Gen. Israel B. Richardson
FIRST BRIGADE: 81st Pennsylvania Infantry. THIRD BRIGADE: 53rd Pennsylvania Infantry
SECOND DIVISION, Brig. Gen. John Sedgwick
SECOND BRIGADE: 69th Pennsylvania Infantry. 71st Pennsylvania Infantry. 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry. 106th Pennsylvania Infantry.
THIRD ARMY CORPS – Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman
CAVALRY – 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry
FIRST BRIGADE: 26th Pennsylvania Infantry
THIRD DIVISION – Brig. Gen. Phillip Kearny
FIRST BRIGADE: 57th Pennsylvania Infantry. 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry. 105th Pennsylvania Infantry.
FOURTH ARMY CORPS – Brig. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes
CAVALRY – 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry
FIRST DIVISION – Brig. Gen. Darius N. Couch
FIRST BRIGADE: 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry. 98th Pennsylvania Infantry. 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry.
SECOND BRIGADE: 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry. 31st Pennsylvania Infantry. 61st Pennsylvania Infantry.
ARTILLERY: 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery C. 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery D.
SECOND DIVISION – Brig. Gen. John C. Peck
No photo available
FIRST BRIGADE: 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry. 104th Pennsylvania Infantry.
SECOND BRIGADE: 85th Pennsylvania Infantry. 101st Pennsylvania Infantry. 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry.
CORPS ARTILLERY RESERVE: 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery E. 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery H.
FIFTH ARMY CORPS – Brig. Gen Fitz John Porter
SECOND BRIGADE: 62nd Pennsylvania Infantry.
THIRD BRIGADE: 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry.
SECOND DIVISION – Brig. Gen George Sykes
THIRD DIVISION – Brig. Gen. George A. McCall, Brig. Gen. Truman Seymour
FIRST BRIGADE: 1st Pennsylvania Reserves. 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves. 5th Pennsylvania Reserves. 8th Pennsylvania Reserves. 13th Pennsylvania Reserves.
SECOND BRIGADE: 3rd Pennsylvania Reserves. 4th Pennsylvania Reserves. 7th Pennsylvania Reserves. 11th Pennsylvania Reserves.
THIRD BRIGADE: 9th Pennsylvania reserves. 10th Pennsylvania Reserves. 12th Pennsylvania Reserves.
ARTILLERY: 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery A. 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery B. 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery G.
CAVALRY: 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry.
SIXTH ARMY CORPS – Brig. Gen. William B. Franklin
FIRST DIVISION – Brig. Gen. Henry W. Slocum
SECOND BRIGADE: 96th Pennsylvania Infantry.
THIRD BRIGADE: 95th Pennsylvania Infantry.
SECOND DIVISION – Brig. Gen William F. Smith
FIRST BRIGADE: 49th Pennsylvania Infantry.
CAVALRY: 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry (Company I & K)
ARMY CAVALRY RESERVE -Brig. Gen. Phillip St. George Cooke
FIRST BRIGADE: 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry
CASEY’S COMMAND AT WHITE HOUSE: 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry. 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Photos of the generals are from Wikipedia and are either in the public domain because their copyright has expired or because they were taken by U.S. government employees in the course of their duties. Some of the information for this post was taken from the Wikipedia article on the Seven Days Battles.
An excellent source of information on the Seven Days Battles is: Echoes of Thunder, A Guide to the Seven Days Battles, by Matt Spruill II and Matt Spruill IV, published by University of Tennessee Press, 2006. The book is filled with battle maps showing the movements of the various regiments as well as information on how to locate the exact places the battles took place.