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The Battle of Glendale was the fifth battle of the Seven Days’ Battles.  The Seven Days’ Battles were a series of battles that took place during the summer of 1862.  The Confederates, under General Robert E. Lee, were trying to drive the Union troops, under George McClellan, away from Richmond.  It was also Lee’s hope to defeat them before they reached the protection of the gunboats waiting in the James River.  On this day of the battle, June 30, 1862, Lee planned to trap the Union troops at an important intersection of rural roads where they were funneled together in their retreat towards the James River.  He planned to attack them on three sides, but many of his generals, including “Stonewall” Jackson, failed to follow his orders. Only one group of Confederates followed through on the attack and engaged the Union soldiers in close hand to hand combat with bayonets and clubbed rifles.  They managed to capture several Union canons but failed to take control of the critical intersection.  So the Union troops were able to reach their escape route and move on to establish a strong position on Malvern Hill that night.  The next day they would defeat the Confederates in the bloody Battle of Malvern Hill.  This had been Lee’s last chance to crush the Union army, and he missed the opportunity.

Updated 9/4/2011