Chapter

“Very Crude Notions on the Subject”: William B. Franklin's Amphibious Assault at Eltham's Landing

Mark A. Snell

in Union Combined Operations in the Civil War

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780823232864
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240777 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823232864.003.0004

Series: The North's Civil War

“Very Crude Notions on the Subject”: William B. Franklin's Amphibious Assault at Eltham's Landing

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Not every combined operation attempted by Union forces during the Peninsula Campaign foundered on the rocks of interservice rivalry. One that proved remarkably successful was the amphibious landing near the head of the York River at Eltham's Landing on May 7, 1862, during George B. McClellan's advance up the Virginia Peninsula. There, Brigadier General William B. Franklin's army division and a detachment of vessels from Commander William Smith's division of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron successfully secured a lodgment on a hostile shore while incurring very few casualties. For this assault, the army developed tactical landing schedules, employed specialized landing barges, and used effective naval gunfire support. It was an army engineer who orchestrated the most successful combined operation of the campaign at Eltham's Landing. That army engineer was Major Barton Stone Alexander of the Corps of Topographical Engineers.

Keywords: Civil War; Union; combined operation; Major Barton Stone Alexander; army engineer; William B. Franklin

Chapter.  5621 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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