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Battle Name : Yorktown

Date(s) : 04 April 1862 - 04 May 1862

Part of : American Civil War , Eastern Theatre, 1862 , McClellan's Peninsula Campaign ,

Outcome : A victory for American Union Forces over American Confederate Forces

Type of battle : Land, Seige


Although technically a victory for the Union, the Seige of Yorktown was in fact a huge embarassment. McClellan approached the 10 miles of defences extending across the peninsula with around 90,000 men, and sent 55,000 forward to engage but hesitated when he saw the strength of the entrenchment. In fact the trenches were manned by around 13,000 Confederate defenders under John B Magruder, but so effective were they in making the noise of a larger force, moving around behind the defences, and presenting tree trunks as fake artillery, McClellan was persuaded that a much larger force faced him, and so began preparations for a formal seige. Johnston arrived soon after with around 45,000 men to bolster the Southern force but knew the line couldn't be held against heavy bombardment so withdrew all forces back towards Richmond during the night of May 3rd/4th before the Union guns had had a chance to fire. McC;lellan had been delayed for a month by a force less than a fifth of his size.


A 10 mile stretch across the peninsula between the York and James Rivers to the south and south-west of Yorktown, Virginia, USA. (USA)