The Battle of Savage's Station occurred on June 29, 1862 outside of Richmond, Virginia as part of the American Civil War. After their loss at the Battle of Gaines' Mill, the Union Army of the Potomac began retreating toward the James River. As they retreated, they were attacked by Confederate troop under the command of General John Magruder. Federal troops were forced to continue withdrawing while abandoning wounded troops and any supplies they could not destroy.


  • Battle of Savage's Station Historic Marker
    Battle of Savage's Station Historic Marker
  • Battle of Savage's Station Map
    Battle of Savage's Station Map
  • Engraving by A.R. Ward depicting the Battle of Savage's Station
    Engraving by A.R. Ward depicting the Battle of Savage's Station
  • Confederate Field Hospital after the battle with the abandoned Union wounded
    Confederate Field Hospital after the battle with the abandoned Union wounded
  • McClellan's HQ at Savage Station just before the battle
    McClellan's HQ at Savage Station just before the battle
  • Savage Station today. This was where McClellan's HQ was located
    Savage Station today. This was where McClellan's HQ was located
  • More abandoned Union wounded. These men are on flatbeds on a railroad that will take them to their prison camp
    More abandoned Union wounded. These men are on flatbeds on a railroad that will take them to their prison camp
  • Zoomed in frame of Union soldiers helping their wounded comrades
    Zoomed in frame of Union soldiers helping their wounded comrades
  • Another close up scene of Union comrades helping their fellow wounded
    Another close up scene of Union comrades helping their fellow wounded

After retreating from their defeat at the Battle of Gaines' Mill, The majority of the Union army was concentrated around Savage's Station along the Richmond and York River Railroad. General McClellan was preparing for a difficult crossing through and around White Oak Swamp and was particularly disorganized. Union troops were ordered to burn anything they could not carry and the wounded realized that they could not be evacuated along with the rest of the army.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee came up with
 plan to pursue and destroy the retreating Union army. He ordered General Magruder to move along Williamsburg Road and the York River Railroad to attack the Federal rear guard. He would then link up with Stonewall Jackson's forces and deliver a huge blow to the retreating federal troops. However, Jackson was unable to make it in time to carry out the plan.

The battle was ultimately a stalemate with the Union losing roughly twice the number of casualties compared to the Confederacy (950-444). However,  the Union was also without the hundreds of wounded they had to leave behind during their retreat. The wounded were from both the Battle of Gaines' Mill and Savage Station (there were about 2,500 wounded). By the time Stonewall Jackson's forces arrived they had missed their chance. 
Most of the Army of the Potomac crossed White Oak Swamp Creek as they retreated toward the James River. The Confederacy was then tasked with caring for these Union wounded, later to be their prisoners of war. Lee and Army would the next day continue their attacks on McClellan's retreating army, as the Union returned to their base of operations at Fortress Monroe, located on the Virginia coast outside of the town of Hampton. Savage Station would be another humiliating defeat for McClellan and Lincoln. 

"American Civil War: Battle of Savage's Station" Accessed December 5, 2014. http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/CivilWarEast1862/p/American-Civil-War-Battle-Of-Savages-Station.htm "Rebels inflict attack Yankees at the Battle of Savage's Station" History.com. Accessed of December 5, 2014. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-savages-station "Battle of Savage's Station" St. Mary's College of California. Accessed on December 5, 2014. http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/the-civil-war-letters-of-forrest-little/father-i-done-my-duty/the-battle-of-savage-station. Burton, Brian K. Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. Burton, Brian K. The Peninsula & Seven Days: A Battlefield Guide. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007. Salmon, John S. The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001. Sears, Stephen W. To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign. Ticknor and Fields, 1992.