The Peninsula What happened to Jackson at the Seven Days Battles?

K Hale

Colonel
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Texas
I know Hill had a vendetta for being removed from command later on, did he have one towards Jackson? Jealously for his success?
By the winter of '62-'63 they had had a falling out. I can't put my hand on it now but there is a letter in some book, probably Dr. Robertson's, where Jackson writes to Hill's wife (his sister-in-law) about how he regrets what's happened to Hill but Hill could have prevented it, etc... something like that. Jackson provided zero details. But there was a problem.
 

rickvox79

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Pace, FL
By the winter of '62-'63 they had had a falling out. I can't put my hand on it now but there is a letter in some book, probably Dr. Robertson's, where Jackson writes to Hill's wife (his sister-in-law) about how he regrets what's happened to Hill but Hill could have prevented it, etc... something like that. Jackson provided zero details. But there was a problem.


That's interesting, I'll have to check that out. Hill must have definitely rubbed some people the wrong way because it seemed like he didn't have a bad start to the war at least.
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Seems to me it had something to do with Antietam. D H Hill did a veritable Thermopylae at South Mountain and it vaguely knocks at me noggin that he felt Jackson could have helped him - and this is the root of the discord between him and his brother-in-law. Can someone help me out with this?
 

dvrmte

Major
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Location
South Carolina
Another factor that needs to be mentioned is Jackson was used to orchestrating his own battles. He was used to independent command and now he was a subordinate in a huge battle. He didn't know the terrain and roads as he did in the Valley. I think all this influenced his inactivity.

I think there was an overall awkwardness in Lee's whole command structure at this time. He fixed it rather quickly afterward.

To me it was all of the above plus extreme mental and physical exhaustion.

Jackson perked right up afterward when he was sent to Gordonsville to watch Pope. He fought and maneuvered the miscreant into position for suppressing, trapped inside the fork of the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers. The new command structure was working.
 

rickvox79

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Pace, FL
Alexander seems to think they could have brought about an almost crushing blow to the Union if the attacks at the Seven Days Battles would have succeeded according to Lee's plan. A blow that might not have been recoverable for the AOTP. Wishful thinking or could they have chased them all the way to Washington?
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
Well, Little Mac could fight when he had to! I doubt they could have run 'em all the way home but a real shiner would have been delivered.

Depends on which McClellan shows up, but you're right--probably not a knockout punch but it will come back to haunt them--if for no other reason than early losses of promising officers and the beginning of the constant merry-go round of trying to replace them and get the team running smoothly.
 

Rob9641

Captain
Annual Winner
Joined
Jun 7, 2010
Location
Maryland
Alexander seems to think they could have brought about an almost crushing blow to the Union if the attacks at the Seven Days Battles would have succeeded according to Lee's plan. A blow that might not have been recoverable for the AOTP. Wishful thinking or could they have chased them all the way to Washington?

I vote wishful thinking. Malvern Hill was the last of the Seven Days Battles, and the ANV got kicked in the face.
 

Nytram01

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Location
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
That's interesting, I'll have to check that out. Hill must have definitely rubbed some people the wrong way because it seemed like he didn't have a bad start to the war at least.

Daniel Harvey Hill was extremely tactless. If he thought you were being a bloody fool he would tell you without hesitation or pleasentries, if he thought you weren't performing your duty to the standard you should be he would accuse you of not doing you duty properly to your face. He was quite fearless in his private and public utterances. Naturally people don't like being told they're being fools or shirking their duty and will react negatively to this criticism and so Hill possessed the uncany ability to create discord amungst an army with only a few words and since he couldn't keep his own council this discord was inevitable.
 

BillO

Captain
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Location
Quinton, VA.
The same thing that had happened to Grumble Jones is what happened to DH Hill. If you didn't behave in Lee's army or were considered not a team player you got transferred. DH Hill was actually a very competant battlefield commander but he had a quick and acidic tongue that rubbed people the wrong way.
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
The only thing that kept Daniel Harvey Hill from being confined to some remote post in New Mexico is that he was a pretty good battlefield commander. And they all knew it. Put him somewhere he can be useful, but please, not under my command.
 

Michael Condon

Private
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Location
Arizona
Put him somewhere he can be useful, but please, not under my command.

haha, I like that! He is like the guy you work with that has great talent and blows it because he thinks he is his own boss! Now to only think if he was infavor (or bite is tongue) with others he could have lead a Corp and been successful???

Anyways back to Jackson and the Seven Days, not DH...
 

Dugger

Banned
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Location
Southern Ohio
Lee's plans were overly complex for a man who had just assumed command. Fairly intricate. We all know this. It all worked (sorta) in the end but at a huge expense of men. Lucky for Lee it was Mac he was facing. Lee had his number. Greatist fold (Mac) in American military history. Hmmmm, cite/scold me if there is anything worse than Mac and The Seven Days. Hey, I open minded!

AND...to add insult to injury Mac tried to shift blame. That is all he ever did. That is all he ever did.
 

rickvox79

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Pace, FL
I vote wishful thinking. Malvern Hill was the last of the Seven Days Battles, and the ANV got kicked in the face.

I think Alexander meant that Malvern Hill would have never happened if Lee's plans would have been followed correctly early on in the Seven Days Battles. If the advantages early on would have been exploited, he believed they would have routed them before Malvern Hill.
 

East Ender

Private
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Location
Richmond
I think Alexander meant that Malvern Hill would have never happened if Lee's plans would have been followed correctly early on in the Seven Days Battles. If the advantages early on would have been exploited, he believed they would have routed them before Malvern Hill.

Exactly. Glendale/Frayer's Farm was supposed to be the final battle. Lee had the perfect set up to split McClellan's army in two. If everything had worked according to Lee's plans,*Malvern Hill would never have happened.

Building on diane's post, the exact orders that Lee gave Jackson that morning are still a mystery. That they are a mystery could explain why Jackson did not completely understand them. That and perhaps he was too proud to admit it was not clear as to what was being asked of him. Based on*the events that unfolded that day, it seems that Lee told Jackson to engage the Union rearguard at White Oak Swamp and prevent them from being able to provide reinforcements.*

The Union rearguard under Franklin engaged Jackson's division in an artillery duel across the swamp near the ruined bridge. In that regard, by drawing Franklin's attention, Jackson was successful. According to John S. Salmon, Hampton told Jackson that the swamp could be bridged, but only for infantry. Jackson told Hampton to build his bridge. When Hampton returned to inform Jackson, he was met with silence. Jackson decided he could not counter the Federal guns without the necessary artillery as Franklin's command was too strong. Jackson and his four divisions did not proceed any further. There was no infantry engagement at the Battle of White Oak Swamp. Due to Jackson's inaction, a group of reinforcements were detached from Franklin's division and helped to reverse the gains made by the Confederates at Glendale. That night, the rest of Franklin's division moved to join the Federal army at Malvern Hill. In that regard, Jackson was not successful.

As with the general consensus, I think exhaustion combined with the stress of war is the culprit. At White Oak Swamp, the Confederate casualties were 15, three of them fatal. It is estimated that the Federals suffered around 100 casualties.*Imagine if Jackson had been more than partially successful at White Oak Swamp and pressed on despite his misgivings. The casualty comparison seems to imply that strength was definitely on Jackson's side. This is evident when visiting the site today as it is clear the Federals occupied a higher position. Such a position should have minimized their casualties as would be the case the next day at Malvern Hill, though the position there was stronger and equipped with overwhelming*artillery. If Jackson had followed through and joined the battle at Glendale on the 30th, we might not be talking about the end of the war, but a profoundly weakened Army of the Potomac that bypasses Malvern Hill and presses on to Harrison's Landing.

Assuming then that the events which followed the Seven Days occurred as they did (Confederates still win 2nd Bull Run) you can then pontificate what may have happened at Antietam as the Confederates would have been up against a far more demoralized Army of the Potomac. With such a psychological advantage, would the Confederates have stood a better chance? If so, would Antietam have been the Union's Appomattox? Would the discovery of the battle plan wrapped cigars have made any difference at that point?

Considering what had been asked of Jackson prior to and during the Seven Days, which I think we can all agree was a lot, he and his men were exhausted and he likely felt it was time for others to step up their game. That may not have been typical of Jackson's personality, but this was clearly not the same Jackson. Some did, Longstreet and A.P. Hill breaking through the Union line, and others did not, Huger playing into Slocum's trap by dragging his feet on Charles City Road. Huger's action, or lack thereof, mirrored Magruder's cautiousness from the previous day at Savage's Station. It can be argued that it is Huger who really ruined the day as he was to strike first and have his divisions supported by Longstreet and Hill. Lee was waiting with Longstreet listening for the sound of Huger's guns. They heard guns but the sound was too distant, which means Lee heard Jackson's guns at White Oak Swamp. At practically the same moment, as if out of some sort of bad dream, Jefferson Davis arrives at the front complete with an entourage. This was a distraction for Lee who was trying to figure out what was happening. It all plays out like a comedy of errors.*

In his own way, Jackson did his part, just not in a way that resulted in a resounding win for the Confederates at Glendale.*

Reference:*
The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide
John S. Salmon, 2001
 
Top