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Battle of Malvern Hill Painting

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Malvern Hill Map

July 1, 1862
Estimated Casualties: 8,500 total

At Malvern Hill Gen. Robert E. Lee launched a series of assaults on a nearly unbreakable Union position. Fought on July 1, 1862, Malvern Hill was the sixth and last of the Seven Days's Battles.

After Glendale (Frayser's Farm) the Union, battered and in retreat, took up a position on the high ground of Malvern Hill. The steep slopes/cliffs on the Union left and the swampy bottoms on the right forced the main southern advance to cross the open ground on the Union front.

The Federals did not use trenches, instead, they stood in line-of-battle formation. Backed by over 100 cannon in front and another 100 plus on the flanks, Brig. Gen. Henry Hunt, Union, opened a murderous fire that few Confederate units could survive. The Confederate batteries were silenced and their brigades cut to ribbons as they advanced. The Confederates suffered more than 5,300 casualties without gaining an inch of ground. As one Confederate officer said, "It was not war, it was murder."

Other Confederate attacks up the cliff near the Crew house were also repelled by the Federals.

Despite this victory, McClellan withdrew to Harrison's Landing on James River, where his army was protected by gunboats.

This ended the Peninsula Campaign. When McClellan's army ceased to threaten Richmond, Lee sent Jackson to operate against Maj. Gen. John Pope's army along the Rapidan River, thus initiating the Northern Virginia Campaign.
(Sources: Various, including the U.S. Gov't, National Park Service)



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