Series of battles in the American Civil War, June 26 - July 2, 1862.
After George B. McClellan took command of the Army of the Potomac and was annointed the new leader of the Union Armies, the mission he was given was clear. He was to march on Richmond and capture the Confederate capital. For this mission he was given the largest single force of the war, an army that at its nadir numbered over 90,000 men.
Day One: Known as the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek (sometimes known as Mechanicsville), McClellan's army inflicted severe casualties and damage to the Confederate force led by General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. McClellan was strongly entrenched and backed by the best cavalry units and artillery the Union Army had to offer. However, the intensity of fighting caused McClellan to turn his flank back and withdraw.
Day Two: The Battle of Gaines Mill (also known as First Cold Harbor) finds an entrenched Union General Fitz-John Porter battling a superior force under Confederate General Robert E. Lee. By the end of the day, Porter's army collapsed and joined McClellan in retreat.
Day Three: Smaller units of the two armies run amok and play hide and go shoot with each other, resulting in a number of small, minor skirmishes. McClellan prepares to besiege Richmond.
Day Four: McClellan decides to break off from his attempted siege of Richmond. The Battle of Savage Station ensues when a Confederate army under General John B. Magruder attacks McClellan's rear guard. Expecting reinforcements from Stonewall Jackson that never materialize, Magruder breaks off his attack.
Day Five: The Battle of Frayser's Farm (also known as Battle of White Oak Swamp or Battle of Glendale). McClellan holds off Robert E. Lee's attacking armies and executes a retreat to Malvern Hill.
Day Six: Battle of Malvern Hill. McClellan becomes convinced that his campaign is doomed. He begins writing frantically to Washington for reinforcements.
Day Seven: McClellan retreats and pulls his armies back, away from all engagements.
McClellan's letters to Washington included a personal note telegraphed to Abraham Lincoln. The note was considered so outrageous by employees of the Washington telegraph office that they never forwarded it on to Lincoln. It read, in part:
"If you do not know now, the game is lost. If I can save this army, I tell you that I owe no thanks to you or any persons in Washington. You have done your best to sacrifice this army."