previous next

Battle of Mechanicsville, or Ellison's Mill,

Gen. Robert E. Lee, who had been recalled from Georgia, was placed in command of the Confederate army led by Johnston, after the latter was wounded (see fair Oaks, battle of). He prepared to strike McClellan a fatal blow or to raise the siege of Richmond. He had quietly withdrawn Jackson and his troops from the Shenandoah Valley, to have him

Mechanicsville, 1862.

suddenly strike the right flank of McClellan's army at Mechanicsville and uncover the passage of that stream, when a heavy force would join him, sweep down the left side of the Chickahominy towards the York River, and seize the communications of the Army of the Potomac with the White House. McClellan did not discover Jackson's movement until he had reached Hanover Court-house. He had already made provision for a defeat by arrangements for a change of base from the Pamunkey to the James River; and when, on the morning of June 25, 1862, he heard of the advance of Jackson on his right, he abandoned all thought of moving on Richmond, took a defensive position, and prepared for a retreat to the James River. On the right side of the Chickahominy General Porter was posted with 27,000 men and ten heavy guns in battery. At 3 P. M., on the 26th, Gen. A. P. Hill crossed the river and drove a regiment and a battery at Mechanicsville back to the main line near Ellison's Mill, where the Nationals were strongly posted. There, on a hill, McCall's Pennsylvania Reserves were posted, 8,500 strong, with five batteries. These, with a part of Meade's brigade, were supported by regulars under Morell and Sykes. General Reynolds held the right, and General Seymour the left, and the brigades of Martindale and Griffin were deployed on the right of McCall. In the face of these formidable obstacles, and a heavy fire of infantry and artillery, the leading brigades of Hill advanced, followed by Longstreet's, and moved to the attack. They massed on the National right to turn it, expecting Jackson to fall upon the same wing at the same time; but this movement was foiled by Seymour. A terrific battle ensued. The Confederates were hurled back with fearful carnage. At 9 P. M. the battle of Mechanicsville, or Ellison's Mill, ceased. The loss of the Nationals was about 400; that of the Confederates, between 3,000 and 4,000. By this victory Richmond was placed at the mercy of the National army; but McClellan, considering his army and stores in peril, prepared to transfer both to the James River. [152]

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 25th, 1862 AD (1)
1862 AD (1)
26th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: