The Seven Days
The Emergence of Lee
During the Seven Days Campaign--the series of battles fought near Richmond at the end of June 1862--General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia routed General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac. Although the Confederates repulsed the powerful offensive of the Yankees, they failed to win a complete and decisive victory. The campaign had far-reaching consequences for both sides: depriving McClellan of a military decision meant the war would continue for two more years, and the chance for Southern victory would never come again. The Seven Days memorably depicts a turning point in the war and in American history.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Dowdey "brings to an encyclopedic knowledge of the facts a freshness that makes the story seem new... [It] is an examination of the critical moments when history goes off on a new course."-Bruce Catton, American Heritag -- Bruce Catton American Heritage "[Dowdey] admirably blends fact and human interest in fine historical writing. This book is essential to any collections on American history and the Civil War."-Library Journal Library Journal
Subtitled The Emergence of Lee, this latest book by the author of Bugles Blow No More, Lee's Last Campaign, etc., tells of the Seven Days Battle in Virginia (June 26-July 1, 1862), in which Lee, in his first active Civil War campaign, forced McClellan to withdraw from Richmond. Early in June, 1862, Jefferson Davis ordered his little known military advisor, Robert E. Lee, to replace General Joe E. Johnston, wounded at Seven Pines (May 31), as commander of the Confederate Army in Virginia, where Johnston and McClellan had been equally reluctant to "inflict injury on the enemy." Taking the offensive while still feeling his way into war, in the Seven Days Lee maneuvered MeClellan into a trap from which he escaped because Stonewall Jackson, suffering from fatigue caused by physical stress, failed to attack him. The week-long battle, "the most significant single military engagement of the War," resulted in McClellan's eclipse and Lee's emergence as a general. One of the best parts of this excellent book, in which the Virginia -born author cuts heroes on both sides down to size, is his account of the physical and psychological causes behind Jackson's astonishing behavior during the Seven Days. The book will appeal to military tacticians and Confederate buffs rather than to armchair strategists, who may find themselves lost in the maze of the battle. (Kirkus Reviews)