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Battle of Malvern Hill by Markers Use the “First >>” button above to see these markers in sequence.
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — PA 175 — Seven Days’ BattlesGlendale (Frayser’s Farm)
Willis Church Road runs from here to Malvern Hill. A large part of Union Gen. George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac followed this road south toward the James River, four miles ahead, near the end of the Seven Days’ Battles in 1862. On 30 June, at the Battle of Glendale / Frayser’s Farm, seven Union infantry divisions stretched across a wide arc north and west of here to keep this road open. Although Confederate infantrymen pushed to within sight of the critical road, they could not sever . . . — Map (db m15061) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — PA 180 — Seven Days BattlesMalvern Hill
Here Lee met Longstreet and Jackson in the morning of July 1, 1862. D. H. Hill reported the strength of the Union position on Malvern Hill; but Lee, having cause to believe the Unionists were weakening, prepared to attack. Jackson and D. H. Hill moved on this road southward to Malvern Hill. — Map (db m15076) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — 19 — Willis' Church
This edifice, which gave its name to the road McClellan followed from Glendale in his withdrawal toward James River, was used as a field hospital by the Confederate troops after the Battle of Malvern Hill. July 1, 1862. — Map (db m14224) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — PA 195 — Seven Days BattlesMalvern Hill
Across the road here stretched the Confederate line of battle, facing south, in the afternoon of July 1, 1862. Jackson commanded here, Magruder to the west. Longstreet and A. P. Hill were in reserve the battle lasted intermittently. From morning to night, reaching its crisis late in the afternoon. The disjointed Confederate attacks were repulsed with heavy loss. — Map (db m14920) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — PA 220 — Seven Days BattlesMalvern Hill
Here from east to west, Berdan’s sharpshooters of Morell’s division were strung out in the afternoon of July 1, 1862. Their rapid and accurate fire harassed the Confederates as they emerged from the woods and charged up the hill. — Map (db m14931) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Richmond BattlefieldMalvern Hill
The Battle of Malvern Hill was the last in the weeklong series of engagements in 1862 known as the Seven Days battles. General George B. McClellan's Union army, having been maneuvered away from its base at White House Landing east of Richmond, sought the shelter of a new position on the James River. Having reached the river, his army turned back north and on July 1 confronted the pursuing Confederates here at Malvern Hill. Less wooded in 1862, this hilltop with its steep sides provided its . . . — Map (db m29225) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Malvern Hill
Malvern Hill is the story of Confederate infantry against massed Federal artillery – Southern valor against Union firepower. Late in the afternoon of July 1, 1862, blasts from Union cannon blanketed this field with smoke. Residents of Staunton, Virginia, more than 100 miles distant, heard the roar of those guns. Confederate infantry swarmed in front, desperate to gain a foothold near the Union guns. Their goal: drive the Federals from Malvern Hill and give Robert E. Lee the total victory . . . — Map (db m15204) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — The Last DayMalvern Hill – 1862
July 1, 1862 Porter positions artillery seemingly hub to hub across this half-mile crest. In front, fields slope down to woods and swamp – a tough place to form a charge. As Confederates launch disjointed assaults, Federal cannon like giant shotguns saturate the open ground with canister and grapeshot. “Over five thousand dead and wounded men were on the ground,” a Union officer reported next dawn, “but enough were alive and moving to give the field a singular crawling effect.” Map (db m14922) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Union Firepower
Steep terrain on both flanks of the Union line funneled the Confederate attackers into the face of 29 Union cannon lining this ridge. Six 12-pounder Napoleon guns of Company A, 5th U.S. Artillery, fired from near this spot. During the afternoon of July 1, this battery fired 1,392 rounds of shell and canister. Most devastating was the canister - - shotgun-like blasts of iron balls fired at short range. The Confederate infantry lines melted away under the barrage. No Southerners reached the guns. — Map (db m15198) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Battlefield Landscape
Photographs taken during and shortly after the war help us to understand, preserve and rehabilitate the battlefield landscape. In the 1880’s a photographer recorded a series of views of Malvern Hill to accompany Civil War articles published in Century magazine. In this image the cameraman stood here to capture the sloping fields across which the Confederates attacked. Notice the slave cabins to the left and the largely treeless landscape. Recent scene restoration has made this comparison more effective. — Map (db m15201) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — 21 — Battlefield of Malvern Hill
Against the Federals holding this eminence, the Confederates delivered repeated assaults from the North on July 1, 1862 and lost about 5,000 men in the final, indecisive Battle of the Seven Days’ Campaign. That night McClellan withdrew to Harrison's Landing, near Westover. — Map (db m14227) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — PA 230 — Seven Days BattlesMalvern Hill
Across the hill here from east to west the Union artillery was in position in the afternoon of July 1, 1862. The Union batteries overpowered the few cannon the Confederates were able to bring up. When the Southern infantry charged from the woods, they were met by a terrible artillery fire but continued to advance until they came under the fire of the Union infantry. — Map (db m14909) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — The West House
Sitting atop Malvern Hill only feet from the roaring line of Union cannon, the West House became an instant battlefield landmark. The original house dated from approximately 1831, but was rebuilt decades after the Civil War. The current structure is partly on the original brick foundation, and the entrance road is in its wartime location. The Wests owned a large farm and more than a dozen slaves to operate it. Chaplain Edward Neill from Minnesota left a vivid account of the house and its . . . — Map (db m15197) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — The Battle of Malvern HillCouch Defends the Union Right
Although the best known fighting on July 1, 1862, occurred across the road to the west, half of the battlefield is situated here, in front of the West House. Union infantrymen of General Darius Couch’s division occupied the far forward slope of Malvern Hill in front of you. More than one dozen cannon posted here along this gentle crest cemented the position. Couch’s men outdistanced their artillery by several hundred yards in front, very near the Confederate lines. One New York regiment . . . — Map (db m15209) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Union Reserves
Around 15,000 men and the artillery of General Samuel Heintzelman’s Union Third Corps occupied this long stretch of open fields before you. They did not come under direct assault, but did supply reinforcements to the front line. The farm silo you can see in the distance is near the site of the Binford House. Fully two additional corps of infantry, some 25 to 30,000 men, lay in reserve beyond the Binford Farm. “I could hardly conceive any power that could overwhelm us,” . . . — Map (db m15206) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — The Battle of Malvern HillAdvance of the Excelsior Regiments
“We reached the field; here were wounded men and the dead, but we heeded them not. We relieved the 7th New York Regiment and poured in a hot fire; still they kept the field, men falling all round, but our only thought was to fire as fast as possible.” - H. C. Ford, 72nd New York Infantry The earliest Confederate attacks on this part of the battlefield came from across Western Run, a stream located several hundred yards to the northeast. Men from Couch’s division stopped . . . — Map (db m14927) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — The Battle of Malvern HillStonewall Jackson’s Men Threaten the Union Right
“There was no cessation or diminution yet of the enemy’s fire – musketry here – which swept the field to such an extent that it was difficult to believe anything could escape unhurt.” - Lt. McHenry Howard, Confederate staff officer The 15,000 men of Stonewall Jackson brought to the battlefield saw little action on July 1 before dusk. Responding then to calls for help from other hard-pressed Confederates, Jackson sent most of two divisions up the front slope of . . . — Map (db m14923) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Twilight Action
Stonewall Jackson’s wing of the Confederate army joined in the action just before darkness. Some of his infantry advanced on this side of the road, toward Malvern Hill’s crest. Broken and disoriented formations of Confederate infantry blocked their progress. In time, bits and pieces of several of Jackson’s brigades became engaged in this area, fighting until well after sunset. That evening several prominent Union generals argued in favor of a counterattack for the next morning. They believed . . . — Map (db m15199) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Battle of Malvern Hill TrailRichmond National Battlefield Park
The battle of Malvern Hill is best remembered for the series of bold and bloody charges launched here by the Confederate army on July 1, 1862. This one and one-half mile trail offers hikers an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of some of the Southern soldiers in their ill-fated attack. Informational signs are located along the route, including at the locations where Union and Confederate artillery operated. The final leg of the trail returns to this parking lot after crossing the ground . . . — Map (db m14918) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — 20 — Methodist Parsonage
The residence of the Methodist minister, situated near this spot, was a landmark of the Battle of Malvern Hill and was directly in the line of advance of D.H. Hill's division southward against the Federal positions around the Crew house. July 1, 1862. — Map (db m14225) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Battle Commences
A march of less than three miles from the Glendale battlefield brought the Confederates to this spot at the foot of Malvern Hill. In earlier times it was a peaceful landscape, but on July 1 a line of Union artillery with infantry supports held the crest of the hill, not 800 yards from here. Their position was in front of the West House, which can be seen in the distance. When the Southern infantry arrived in this treeless space those guns opened fire with devastating exploding shells and solid . . . — Map (db m15200) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Willis Church ParsonageThe Confederates Move Toward Malvern Hill — Malvern Hill Battlefield – Richmond Nat'l Battlefield Park
Frustrated by his failure at Glendale, Robert E. Lee gathered his army on July 1, 1862, for a final effort to destroy the Union army. But on this day, unlike his previous efforts during the Seven Days, Lee did not have a Union flank or a strung-out marching column to attack. Before him stood the powerful Union rear guard, arrayed on the plateau of Malvern Hill, about a half mile in front of you. The Willis Church parsonage (the ruins behind you) became an important landmark on July 1. Before . . . — Map (db m14916) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Battlefield Burials
The depressions to the right of the trail probably represent former graves of Confederate soldiers. The dead of both armies received hasty battlefield burials. Most were disinterred after the war, with the Union dead going to Glendale National Cemetery and the Confederate dead probably being removed to Richmond. These woods are historic. They and the small stream that you crossed offered welcome shelter to Confederate soldiers. Several brigades, mostly under the command of General John B. . . . — Map (db m29393) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Malvern HillDay Seven of the Seven Days — Malvern Hill Battlefield - Richmond National Battlefield Park
Before you stood the Union rearguard, on Malvern Hill. Here, McClellan's line atop the plateau was only 875 yards wide. Confederate batteries were to soften the position prior to the infantry assault, but the Federal artillery proved superior. As Lee's guns rolled into position a devastating shower of exploding projectiles overwhelmed them and their crews. Through misunderstanding by Confederate commanders, Southern infantry were ordered to advance, across the Carter's Mill Road behind you, . . . — Map (db m29394) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — OutgunnedBattle of Malvern Hill
General Robert E. Lee hoped that a crossfire of Confederate artillery directed against the crest of Malvern Hill might silence the powerful array of Union guns and clear the way for an infantry charge. Generals Longstreet and Jackson established clusters of cannon at two places, on opposite ends of the Confederate line. This is one of those spots. Parts of several Virginia batteries fought on this ridge. Usually no more than six cannon were in position here at any one time, only about 950 . . . — Map (db m29399) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Confederate FutilityUnion Cannon Devastate the Confederates — Malvern Hill Battlefield - Richmond National Battlefield Park
Confederate attacks reached their final fury just before sunset. "The men would rush forward as they were urged," recalled a North Carolinian, "and then it seemed as though the whole line would sway back as a field of corn would before a wind." When especially bold units neared the line of Union cannon, Federal infantry rushed out in front of the artillery to repel the threat. No Confederates reached the guns. Pinched into a narrow attack front by steep cliffs on either side, Southern soldiers . . . — Map (db m29428) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Historic Farm Road
The armies fought the Battle of Malvern Hill across several very large and productive farms. That agricultural landscape helped shape the course of the battle. Stacks of recently harvested wheat offered feeble shelter to men of both sides. Farm buildings became battlefield landmarks. Troops used unimproved farm roads to move across the battlefield landmarks. Troops used unimproved farm roads to move across the battlefield, and no doubt some men found protective cover in the well-worn roadbeds . . . — Map (db m29429) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — The Confederate High Water Mark
You have reached the farthest point to which any organized Confederate infantry advanced on July 1. Two simple wooden structures stood within this cleared area. They are thought to have housed the slaves working the Crew farm. During the twilight fighting, part of the brigade of General Paul J. Semmes reached the slave cabins and used the structures for cover. A handful of men, mostly Louisianians, pushed a few feet farther through the smoke toward the Union guns, where they met General Thomas . . . — Map (db m29436) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — The Malvern Hill Crest
Looking back to the north, you now share the view of the Union artillerists. Remember that their guns stretched all the way across the hill in front of you. Today only eight guns represent where at least thirty stood during the battle. On several occasions, when Southern infantry approached, the cannoneers willingly gave way to their own infantry supports, which rushed forward through the line of cannon and dispersed the Confederates. This often involved close-quarters fighting, and a great . . . — Map (db m29440) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Advantages of Terrain
Today, heavy woods have replaced the vast rolling wheat fields upon which the armies fought. Timber also hides the steep slopes and jagged ravines that shielded the flanks of the Union position. The rough terrain forced most of the Confederates to advance across the flat open fields astride the Willis Church road. Still, portions of two Confederate divisions attempted to negotiate this drainage that led directly to the Union position. The steep slopes protected the Southern infantrymen from . . . — Map (db m29441) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — The Crew House
The Crew House -- also known during the war as Dr. Mellert's -- is a key landmark of the battlefield. In 1862, numerous outbuildings were located close to the house, and a small orchard stood nearby. The original house burned in the 1870's, and this structure stands on the foundations of the wartime building. Federal artillery located in the yard anchored the left of the Union line, and other guns unlimbered in the lane to your left. — Map (db m29442) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Freeman Marker
This is one in a series of 61 markers erected beginning in 1925 to identify the battlefields around Richmond. The tablets were the work of the Battlefield Markers Association, a group of historians committed to commemorating the Richmond battlefields. Most prominent among the association's members was Dr. Douglas Southall Freeman, the eminent biographer of George Washington and Robert E. Lee. The work of Dr. Freeman and the Association ultimately led to the purchase of battlefield lands and the . . . — Map (db m14283) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — 22 — Malvern HillConfederate Assault
Up the face of this ridge and through the meadow to the left J.B. Magruder's troops charged the Federal positions on the crest, around the Crew House, July 1, 1862. D.H. Hill's charge was to the right, on both sides of the Willis Church Road. — Map (db m14229) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — Malvern Cliffs
The view from here illustrates the power of the Union position atop Malvern Hill. Late in the afternoon of July 1, two Confederate brigades attacked across the treeless flat terrain below. Union guns in the Crew yard and elsewhere pounded the Confederate lines long before the Southern infantrymen could open fire with their muskets. Still, the Confederates reached the base of the hill, where they would cling to the safety of the slope. Finally at dusk, the Virginians and North Carolinians . . . — Map (db m84882) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Glendale — PA 235 — Seven Days BattlesMalvern Hill
Across the road here stretched the Union line of battle in the afternoon of July 1, 1862. Couch’s, Kearney’s and Hooker’s divisions were to the east of the road, Morell to the west, with Sykes in reserve. The Confederates made several attacks and, for a time, the battle trembled in the balance, but the assailants were finally repulsed. In the night the Union army withdrew to James River. — Map (db m14911) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Granville — V 4 — Malvern Hill
Nearby stood the Malvern Hill manor house built for Thomas Cocke in the 17th century. The Marquis de Lafayette camped here in July-August 1781, and elements of the Virginia militia encamped nearby during the War of 1812. During the Civil War, 1 July 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee attacked Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Union Army of the Potomac here as it retreated to the James River from the gates of Richmond. Although he dealt Lee a bloody defeat, McClellan continued his withdrawal to Harrison's . . . — Map (db m9603) HM
Virginia (Henrico County), Richmond — PA 240 — Engagement at Malvern Cliffs
On 30 June 1862, as Gen. Robert E. Lee concentrated his troops to attack Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's retreating Union army at Glendale, Maj. Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes brigade of Confederate troops moved down New Market Road on Lee's right. Union forces on Malvern Hill noticed dust rising above the trees and suspected the movement of the Confederates on New Market Road. As he advanced, Holmes observed the Union troops atop Malvern Hill to the east and deployed his artillery and infantry. . . . — Map (db m9247) HM
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