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The Battle of Savage’s Station was the fourth 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 29, 1862, the Union troops were retreating towards the James River and had reached their temporary headquarters at Savage’s Station.  Savage’s Station was a railroad depot where the Richmond Railroad crossed Williamsburg Road.  Earlier that month, during the Battle of Seven Pines, the Union had almost reached their goal of attacking Richmond.  Savage’s Station was a secure place behind them as they faced Richmond so they set up a field hospital and their supply headquarters in this location.  However, now that they were retreating, Savage’s Station was no longer a secure place.  Most of the Union troops were gathered here trying to navigate across the difficult White Oak Swamp.  The rear guard was set up to protect them as they crossed.  The Confederates attacked the rear guard, coming at them along the Richmond Railroad and Williamsburg Road.  One of their best weapons was accompanying them on the railroad too... the “Land Merrimack.” It was the first time an armored train had been used in battle.  Yet in spite of their stronger firepower, the Confederates did not get enough reinforcements in time, and the Union was able to successfully withdraw to safety across White Oak Swamp.  When the Confederates arrived at the abandoned Savage’s Station headquarters, they found 2,500 wounded Union soldiers left behind at the field hospital and piles of smoldering debris where the Union troops had burned all of their supplies, including food and clothing, that could have been used by the Confederates. 

Updated 9/4/2011