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Siege Of Yorktown
Civil War Virginia


American Civil War
April 5-May 4, 1862

Peninsular Campaign Map

Marching from Fort Monroe, Union General George B. McClellan's army encountered Major General John B. Magruder's small Confederate army at Yorktown behind the Warwick River.  Magruder's theatrics convinced the Federals that his works were strongly held.

General McClellan suspended the march up the Peninsula toward Richmond, ordered the construction of siege fortifications, and brought his heavy siege guns to the front. In the meantime, General Joseph E. Johnston brought reinforcements for Magruder. 

On 16 April, Union forces probed a weakness in the Confederate line at Lee's Mill or Dam No. 1, resulting in about 309 casualties.  Failure to exploit the initial success of this attack, however, held up General McClellan for two additional weeks, while he tried to convince his navy to maneuver the Confederates' big guns at Yorktown and Gloucester Point and ascend the York River to West Point thus outflanking the Warwick Line.

General McClellan planned for a massive bombardment to begin at dawn on May 4, but the Confederate army slipped away in the night toward Williamsburg.

Result(s): Inconclusive

Location: York County and Newport News

Campaign: Peninsular Campaign (March-September 1862) next battle in campaign    previous battle in campaign

Date(s): April 5-May 4, 1862

Principal Commanders: Major General George McClellan [US]; Major General John B. Magruder and General Joseph E. Johnston [CS]

Forces Engaged: Armies

Estimated Casualties: 320 total


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Civil War: Official Plan of The Siege of Yorktown Virginia, c.1862
Official Plan of The Siege of Yorktown Virginia, c.1862
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Framed

Yorktown, Virginia (vicinity). Group of contrabands at Allen's farm house near Williamsburg Road
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Sources:
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.


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