Author Archives: hlj

Meeting of August 25, 2012

Hal Jespersen on the “Seven Days Battles”


Seven Days Battles

In the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan landed his Army of the Potomac at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and slowly advanced up the Virginia Peninsula in an attempt to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond. At the indecisive Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks), the Confederate commander, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, was severely wounded and soon replaced with Gen. Robert E. Lee. In late June, Lee launched a series of attacks against McClellan that have come to be known as the Seven Days Battles, including the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines’s Mill, Glendale, Malvern Hill, and a few other (comparatively) minor engagements. Some historians describe the Seven Days as a campaign, others as a lengthy battle with daily engagements. If you subscribe to the latter view, the Seven Days ranks behind Gettysburg as the second bloodiest battle of the war, with approximately 36,000 casualties. Hal gave a brief overview of the initial movements and battles in the Peninsula Campaign, and then described each of the Seven Days in detail. He discussed the strategic importance of the campaign and gave his opinions on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of the two opposing commanders. Continue reading

Meeting of May 29, 2012

Jim Campbell on “A Marine Artist’s View of Famous Civil War Naval Battles”

Jim Campbell’s pen and ink drawings tracing Americas rich maritime past can be seen in galleries on the west coast as well as the east coast. Campbell’s art work has been exhibited at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia, where he did a series of drawings of the famous battles of the Civil War including the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, the first ironclads to do battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia. He has also done a series of drawings of the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, the first submarine in world history to sink an enemy ship. Recently discovered, the Hunley is now on display in the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in South Carolina. Jim discussed the duel at Hampton Roads and the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, and displayed some of his artwork.

Meeting Minutes May 2012