Battle of Glendale
June 30, 1862

The Battle of Glendale, also known as the Battle of Frayser's Farm, Frazier's Farm, Nelson's Farm, Charles City Crossroads, New Market Road, or Riddell's Shop, took place on June 30, 1862,

After the battle, Lee wrote, "Could the other commands have cooperated in this action, the result would have proved most disastrous to the enemy." Confederate Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill was even more direct: "Had all our troops been at Frayser's Farm, there would have been no Malvern Hill." Confederate Brig. Gen. Edward Porter Alexander wrote after the war that, "Never, before or after, did the fates put such a prize within our reach. It is my individual belief that on two occasions in the four years, we were within reach of military successes so great that we might have hoped to end the war with our independence. ... The first was at Bull Run [in] July 1861 ... This [second] chance of June 30, 1862 impresses me as the best of all."

But alas, such was not to be. Although Longstreet's and A. P. Hill's troops, which comprised only about a third of the available Confederate forces, fought valiantly, the troops of Jackson located to the north and strategically positioned to flank the retreating Yankees became mired in the swamp. The assaults by the divisions of A.P. Hill and Longstreet, under Longstreet's overall command, turned out to be the only ones to follow Lee's order to attack the main Union concentration.

At 2 p.m., as they waited for sounds of Huger's expected attack, Lee, Longstreet, and visiting Confederate President Jefferson Davis were conferring on horseback when they came under heavy artillery fire, wounding two men and killing three horses. A.P. Hill, the commander in that sector, ordered the president and senior generals to the rear. Longstreet attempted to silence the six batteries of Federal guns firing in his direction, but long-range artillery fire proved to be inadequate. He ordered Col. Micah Jenkins to charge the batteries, which brought on a general fight around 4 p.m.

1864 engraving depicting the fight over McCall's artillery at Glendale.

The Confederate brigades met stiff resistance from Meade and Seymour in bitter hand-to-hand combat where men stabbed each other with bayonets and used rifles as clubs. Officers even took to using their (normally ornamental) swords as weapons. Meade was wounded in the fighting, two of his artillery batteries captured (Lt. Alanson Randol's and Capt. James Cooper's), but one was retaken. McCall was captured when he mistakenly rode into the Confederate picket line, looking for positions to place his rallied men.

Union casualties were 3,797 (297 killed, 1,696 wounded, and 1,804 missing or captured). Confederate casualties were comparable in total—3,673 (638 killed, 2,814 wounded, and 221 missing)—but more than 40% higher in killed and wounded. Longstreet lost more than a quarter of his division.