Slaughter in the South: Seven Days Battles

HISTORY

By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

American violence was at full tilt during this epic confrontation. The Union was determined to bring the South to a heel -- the Confederates had other ideas. How much do you know about the Seven Days Battles?

In what year did the Seven Days Battles take place?

The Seven Days Battles took place in the summer of 1862, in the area of Virginia. Federal troops were tasked with reining in Southern secession.

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Which man was in command of the Union Army at this battle?

General George B. McClellan was in charge of the Union Army, which was marching towards Richmond, Virginia in an attempt to end the war. As it turned out, the Confederates would not go quietly.

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How many soldiers did Union Gen. McClellan have at his disposal?

The Union was not messing around. They mustered more than 100,00 soldiers and set them barreling towards Richmond. The fledgling Confederacy was in real peril.

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How many separate MAJOR battles occurred during the course of the Seven Days Battles?

There were numerous smaller skirmishes, but in seven days, the Union and Confederate armies clashed six times in major battles. The first battle was fought June 25; the last happened July 1.

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Which of the following is NOT a name used for the Battle of Oak Grove, the first of the six battles?

This one was never known as the Battle of Hickory Road. At the cost of hundreds of casualties, Union troops here gained just a few hundred yards of ground.

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As the Union Army approached Richmond, why did Robert E. Lee replace Confederate commander Joseph E. Johnston?

At the Battle of Seven Pines, Johnston suffered severe wounds that made it impossible for him to continue his command. Lee stepped into his shoes and immediately set a new Confederate strategy into motion.

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What was one notable aspect of the Battle of Malvern Hill?

At the Battle of Malvern Hill, both sides unleashed thunderous volleys of artillery shells. The shelling caused carnage for miles, wounding thousands of soldiers.

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Which side won the Seven Days Battles?

Led by Gen. Robert E. Lee, the Confederates drove the Union away from Richmond and into a full-blown withdrawal. It marked the end of the Peninsula Campaign, an offensive launched by the Union.

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As the Seven Days Battles progressed, what was Gen. Robert E. Lee's ultimate goal?

Lee decided to take the initiative during these seven days of fighting. Rather than simply push back the Union Army, he decided that he wanted to completely destroy it.

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Which of the following clashes was initiated by the Union?

At the Battle of Oak Grove, the Union went on the offensive with the idea of making progress towards Richmond. It was the only clash in which the Union went on the offensive during the Seven Days Battles.

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Which of the following battles came first?

Of these three battles, the combat at Beaver Dam Creek (or Mechanicsville) came first. The sixth and final battle was named the Battle of Malvern Hill.

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The Battle of White Oak Swamp occurred at the same time as which other battle?

The Battles of White Oak Swamp and Glendale raged at the same time, separated by just a few miles. Some historians don't really differentiate the two and instead refer to them as one sprawling battlefield.

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How many men did the Confederates gather to fight off the Union advance during this battle?

The Confederate Army had its greatest numbers during this battle. There were roughly 92,000 men available to push back the bluecoats and prevent them from capturing Richmond.

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Which side suffered the greatest number of casualties during the course of the battle?

The Confederacy's aggressiveness flung the Union Army away from Richmond, but at a price -- the South incurred about 20,000 casualties to the North's 16,000.

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How did the Battle of White Oak Swamp unfold?

Neither side engaged the other on the ground. Instead, they held back and fired volley after volley of artillery shells.

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Which of the six battles featured the greatest number of combatants?

The Battle of Gaine's Mill was a hard-fought battle featuring nearly 35,000 federal troops and more than 57,000 Confederates. The South's huge advantage in numbers helped them win this fight.

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How did the Confederate troops under Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson perform at the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek?

Jackson failed to move his troops into position in time. As a result, the Union forces repelled the Confederate advance and caused them many casualties.

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Why were Stonewall Jackson's troops late to the fight at Beaver Dam Creek?

Jackson's men were already exhausted from recent fighting and endless marching, so it was no surprise that they were late to the party. Even though they could hear the fighting in the distance, they opted to stop and rest for the night.

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With regard to Union forces, how was the Battle of Malvern Hill different than the previous battles?

Union forces had been fighting from undesirable terrain for most of the prior clashes. At Malvern Hill, Union officers finally had good vantage points for both scouting and shelling of the South's positions.

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Gen. Robert E. Lee hoped to destroy the Union Army. What was one major reason that his plan failed?

Poor communication on the front lines doomed Confederate chances of destroying the Union Army -- given the circumstances, Lee's plan was simply too complex. Instead of being destroyed, McClellan and his men escaped annihilation.

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How did the Battle of Garnett and Golding's Farm affect the Union battle strategy?

The Battle of Garnett was a small-scale clash, but there was enough fighting that Union generals were concerned about being cornered by the Confederates. They opted to withdraw to a location that they felt was safer for their troops.

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What is NOT one of the names that refers to the Battle of Glendale?

It's not known as the Battle of Crossroads Farm. The Battle of Glendale happened on the sixth day of fighting.

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Which of the six battles caused Union Gen. McClellan to give up on his attempt to capture Richmond?

At Gaine's Mill, Lee waited until evening to hurl nearly 60,000 Confederates towards Union lines. The Federal troops retreated and McClellan decided that Richmond would have to wait for another campaign.

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How did the Union lose 2,500 soldiers during the Battle of Savage Station?

As the Confederates advanced, the Union beat a hasty retreat. They were forced to abandon 2,500 of their own wounded soldiers, who then became prisoners of war.

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What did Union Gen. McClellan do after the Battle of Glendale?

McClellan was notably absent from this battle but told his superiors in Washington that Union troops were performing very well. He then requested tens of thousands of more men to continue the battle -- but the Union had no way to summon that many men on such short notice.

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During the Battle of Savage Station, the Confederates debuted which weapon?

The South debuted a huge armored artillery gun that moved on railroad tracks. This gun (nicknamed the Land Merrimack) reached deep into Union lines, causing many casualties.

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If the Union had won the battle, the war might have ended. Instead, the war dragged on for how much longer?

Union leaders would look back and lament their loss at this battle. Had they won, the war would have been over -- instead, three more years of combat roiled American soil.

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How many Union soldiers were killed during the battle?

About 1,700 Union soldiers died in the battle. More than 6,000 wound up missing or captured.

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Following the Union retreat, how did Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee proceed?

With the Union falling back, Lee was certain that the Southern capital was safe from federal forces. He readied his men and began an offensive of his own, determined to take the fight to the Northerners.

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Before being forced to retreat, how close was the Union Army to Richmond, the capitol of the Confederacy?

Robert E. Lee and his Confederates beat back the Union as it closed to within just 4 miles of Richmond. If the Union had been able to push a bit farther, the war may have been over.

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