Books Focusing on The Peninsula Campaign and the Seven Days
On this, the 150th anniversary of the last day of the Seven Days at Malvern Hill, it seemed appropriate to offer up a list of the top books on McClellan’s great effort to reach Richmond and end the war quickly from March-July 1862. The Peninsula Campaign offers up a lot of interesting personalities (Kearny, Hooker, “Bull” Sumner, Hood, Lee, Jackson) and battles (Siege of Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines/Fair Oaks, Gaines’ Mill, and Malvern Hill). Moreover, the stakes were very high for a Confederate army battling for the life of its capital, and by extension the life of its newly formed nation. The stakes were high for Democrat George B. McClellan as well. End the war here and now or face a situation which could very quickly spiral into social upheaval. A campaign which started with promise ended in a bloody series of battles during McClellan’s famous “change of base” to the James River. Interestingly, McClellan proposed a movement to the south side of the James which was denied at the time. Ulysses S. Grant used a similar movement in mid0June 1864 to initiate the Siege of Petersburg, the penultimate campaign of the war in the East.
I’ve grouped these books in general order of quality, separated by books focusing on the Peninsula Campaign prior to the Seven Days, the Seven Days, the entire campaign from Fort Monroe to Malvern Hill, and finally books on specific battles.
Feel free to leave the titles of other books which have ties to the Peninsula Campaign and/or the Seven Days in the comments section below. Also, be sure to tell me what YOUR favorite books are on this topic.
Peninsula Campaign / Seven Days Campaign Studies
- To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign Sears, Stephen W. Ticknor & Fields 0-89919-790-6
- The Richmond Campaign of 1862: The Peninsula & the Seven Days Gallagher, Gary W. (ed) The University of North Carolina Press 0-8078-2552-2
- Seven Days Before Richmond: McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign of 1862 and Its Aftermath Schroeder III, Rudolph J. iUniverse Star 978-1-4401-1409-0
- Sword Over Richmond: An Eyewitness History of McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign Wheeler, Richard The Fairfax Press 0-517-68021-1
- The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: Yorktown to the Seven Days, Volume 1 Miller, William J. Savas Woodbury Publishers 1-882810-75-9
- The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: Yorktown to the Seven Days, Volume 2 Miller, William J. Savas Woodbury Publishers 1-882810-76-7
- The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: Yorktown to the Seven Days, Volume 3 Miller, William J. Savas Publishing Company 1-882810-14-7
- The Peninsula Campaign March – July 1862 Martin, David G. Combined Books 0-938289-09-8
- Peninsula Campaign 1862, The: McClellan & Lee Struggle for Richmond Cullen, Joseph P. Bonanza Books ?
- Peninsula & Seven Days, The: A Battlefield Guide Burton, Brian K. University of Nebraska Press 978-0-8032-6246-1
- The Peninsula Campaign & the Necessity of Emancipation: African Americans & the Fight for Freedom Brasher, Glenn David The University of North Carolina Press 978-0-8078-3544-9
- The Battles for Richmond, 1862 Miller, William J. Eastern National 0-915992-93-0
- Siege Artillery In The Campaigns Against Richmond: With Notes on the Fifteen-Inch Gun Abbot, Henry Larcom Kessinger Publishing 9781437198966
Peninsula Campaign Studies
- Joseph E. Johnston and the Defense of Richmond Newton, Steven H. University Press of Kansas 0-7006-0921-0
- Army of the Potomac, Volume 3: McClellan’s First Campaign March-May 1862 Beatie, Russel H. Savas Beatie LLC 978-932714-25-8
- Forward to Richmond: McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign Bailey, Ronald H. Time-Life Books 0-8094-4720-7
Seven Days Battles Studies
- Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles Burton, Brian K. Indiana University Press 0-253-33963-4
- The Seven Days: The Emergence of Lee Dowdey, Clifford University of Nebraska Press 0-8032-6594-8
- Lee Takes Command: From Seven Days to Second Bull Run The Editors of Time-Life Books Time-Life Books 0-8094-4804-1
- Seven Days Battles 1862: Lee’s defense of Richmond Konstam, Angus Osprey Publishing Ltd. 1-84176-682-8
Books on Specific Battles/Locations (roughly chronological order)
- Duel Between The First Ironclads Davis, William C. Louisiana State University Press 0-8071-0868-5
- A Guide to Civil War Yorktown Wheat, Thomas Adrian Bohemian Brigade Bookshop and Publishers 1-877791-10-5
- A Pitiless Rain: The Battle of Williamsburg, 1862 “Hastings, Earl C., Jr. Hastings, David” White Mane Publishing Company 1-57249-042-X
- 4th Michigan Infantry at the Battle of New Bridge, Virginia, The Bertera, Martin Nino Tillieagnes Press 978-0979561108
- The Battle of Hanover Court House: Turning Point of the Peninsula Campaign, May 27, 1862 Hardy, Michael C. McFarland and Company, Inc. 0-7864-2464-8
- The Battle of Seven Pines May 31 – June 1, 1862 Newton, Steven H. H.E. Howard, Inc. 1-56190-048-6
- The Battle of Fair Oaks: Turning Point of McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign Broadwater, Robert P. McFarland & Company 978-0-7864-5878-3
- Fair Oaks 1862: McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign Konstam, Angus Osprey Publishing Ltd. 1-84176-680-1
- The Battle of Glendale: The Day the South Nearly Won the Civil War Stempel, Jim McFarland and Company, Inc. 978-0-7864-6300-8
***Check out the Siege of Petersburg Online for daily posts on battle accounts in newspaper articles, diary entries, letters and more!
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