Saturday, May 31, 2014

Battle of Seven Pines

Today is the 152nd anniversary of the Battle of Seven Pines, also known as the Battle of Fair Oaks or Fair Oaks Station, which took place during the Civil War in Virginia. It was part of the bloody Peninsula Campaign. Union General George McClellan had landed federal troops near Yorktown and marched up the peninsula, fighting Confederate forces several times in his attempt to capture Richmond early in the war. Tactically, the Battle of Seven Pines was inconclusive, but it led to the Seven Days Battles and the Union retreat in late June.

Union Gen. Franklin's forces retreating during the Battle of Seven Pines;
image courtesy of Wikipedia

My great grandfather, Charles Edward Jennings, had enlisted in the 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment on 1 March 1862 as a young 18-year-old man. In April his unit sailed down the James River and were engaged by Union troops near Yorktown on 26 April 1862. He fought in almost every battle of the Peninsula Campaign. However, in July and August he was away from the regiment at home sick. I do not believe he ever fought in another battle during the Civil War, though rejoined the 19th on more than one occasion.

The Battle of Seven Pines was the largest battle in the Eastern theater up to that time, second only to Siloh in terms of casualties. It is estimated that there were about 11,000  casualties during the battle.

To learn more about Charles Edward Jennings' Civil War service, read this post.

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