Oak Grove, Virginia
June 25, 1862
McClellan decided to resume the offensive after sitting passively for three and a half weeks following the stalemate at the Battle of Seven Pines. He planned to move his siege artillery closer to Richmond by taking the high ground on Nine Mile Road around Old Tavern, but to do this he would need to attack the Confederate forces at Oak Grove.
On June 25, three Union brigades stepped off in orderly line of battle. From right to left, they were commanded by Brig. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles, Brig. Gen. Cuvier Grover, and Brig. Gen. John C. Robinson. Robinson and Grover made good progress on the left and in the center but Sickles met stiff Confederate resistance, all of which threw the Union line out of alignment. Confederate Maj. Gen. Huger took advantage of the confusion and launched a counterattack. McClellan, who was attempting to manage the battle by telegraph from three miles away, unaware of most details of the engagement, ordered his men to withdraw, which mystified his subordinates on the scene. The minor battle gained only 600 yards at a cost of over 1,000 casualties on both sides. The next day, Lee seized the initiative by attacking at Beaver Dam Creek, near Mechanicsville, the first major battle of the Seven Days, and the beginning of a strategic retreat by the Union army.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
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