The Best Books on the Seven Days and the Peninsula

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


Peninsula Campaign Studies


Seven Days Battles Studies


Books on Specific Battles/Locations (roughly chronological order)



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