- Challenge along the Chickahominy
Borderland State Park
June 15, 16 & 17, 2007Commemorating the 145th anniversary of the Peninsula Campaign
Setting the scene:
In 1862, Major General George B. McClellan, commander of the Union forces, devised a simple plan to end the Confederate rebellion against the United States. He would take the Army of the Potomac, sail it south to the peninsula between the York and James Rivers in Virginia, and rapidly march on to Richmond. There he would fight a decisive battle, capture the Confederate capital and end the war.
By the end of May, the Army of the Potomac had moved to within twelve miles of Richmond. McClellan had divided his army, placing two corps south of the Chickahominy River and three to the north. This placed McClellans army in a better position to join up with McDowells corps moving south from Fredericksburg. It was a dangerous deployment, however, as heavy rains had swollen the Chickahominy.
The Borderland event will commemorate two battles which occured prior to Lee's Seven Days Battles.
Scenario 1: The Battle of Hanover Courthouse
On May 27, 1862, elements of Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porters V Corps extended north to protect the right flank of McClellans Union army. Porters objective was to cut the Virginia Central Railroad near Hanover and to open the way for Union reinforcements under Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell.
General Branch's tarheels take on Martindale's New England and New York troops. This scenario will make use of the farm on the back side of the park. All branches of service are welcome for this tactical exercise. Federal forces were historially issued 60 rounds of ammunition to complete this mission.
Scenario 2: Fair Oaks and Seven Pines
A few days later, on May 31, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston attempted to overwhelm two Federal corps that appeared isolated south of the Chickahominy River at Fair Oaks and Seven Pines. The Confederate assaults, though not well coordinated, succeeded in driving back the IV Corps and inflicting heavy casualties. Gen. Johnston was wounded in this battle and was replaced early in June, 1862 by General Robert E. Lee.
Confederate forces from Smith's Division fell upon the isolated 10th Massachusetts Infantry of Darius Couch's Division. Will they fight or flee? This tactical scenario will make use of woods adjacent to the mansion, closer to the main camps.
Details of the scheduling for these scenarios are still being worked out and will be posted as soon as possible. Public activities will be scheduled behind the Ames Mansion, as we have in the past, to include drills and demonstrations, but will not include a large scale battle scenario.
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