Sat, 13 May|
The Peninsula Campaign of 1862
The Virginia Peninsula, situated between the James and York rivers, was recognised as strategically important by both North and South. Join author and historian J. Michael Moore for a lively discussion about the Union's grand offensive against Richmond in the spring of 1862.
Time & Location
13 May 2023, 13:00 – 15:00 BST
About the Event
Fort Monroe, located at Old Point Comfort at the end of the Virginia Peninsula was only eighty miles from the Confederate capital at Richmond. On March 17, 1862, the Union Army of the Potomac under Union Major General George McClellan began embarking in Alexandria for the journey to Fort Monroe and Newport News Point. General McClellan had outflanked the Confederates in Northern Virginia, but his plans were altered due to the Battle of Hampton Roads. The CSS Virginia blocked the U.S. Navy’s advance up the James River to Richmond, and the York River was protected by shore batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester Point. McClellan was now forced to make an overland march toward Richmond without reliable maps. Moreover, Confederate Major General John Bankhead Magruder used the Peninsula’s geography to his advantage for delaying any Union advance up the Virginia Peninsula. The April 5 – May 4, 1862 Siege of the Warwick-Yorktown Line pitted these two colorful commanders against each other over a Revolutionary War battlefield deploying such modern technologies as aerial observation and improvised explosive devices. After the Confederates evacuated the Warwick-Yorktown Line on May 4, 1862, the Peninsula Campaign continued with Williamsburg, Seven Pines, and the Seven Days battles. The Peninsula Campaign ended in frustration for McClellan, and Richmond was not occupied by the Union until April 3, 1865.
About the Speaker
J. Michael Moore is employed by the City of Newport News and serves as curator for Lee Hall Mansion and Historic Endview. Moore received a bachelor of arts in history from Christopher Newport University and a master of arts in history from Old Dominion University. During his tenure with the City, he has curated exhibits at several local historic sites, developed historic signage, and led battlefield tours in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Working with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, he has placed Causey’s Mill, Endview Plantation, Lee’s Mill, and Whitaker’s Mill on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, Michael is a popular lecturer for CNU’s LifeLong Learning Society. Moore has co-authored two books – The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: A Military Analysis in 2005 and Yorktown’s Civil War Siege: Drums Along the Warwick in 2012. In addition, he has served as the editor and photographic editor for twelve books and written articles for Virginia Cavalcade, North & South, Military Collector & Historian, and Mulberry Island Notes. In recognition of his work in public history, the Governor of Kentucky commissioned Moore a Kentucky Colonel in 2014. He is a Newport News native and resides in Historic Yorktown.
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