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Army of the Potomac

The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theatre of the American Civil War.


This Army was created in 1861, but was only the size of a corps (relatively speaking). It began as the Army of Northeastern Virginia[?], then reverted back to the recognized name, the Army of the Potomac. Many people believe that Pope's Army of Virginia[?] was another name for this army; however, during the time that that army existed, the Army of the Potomac was still active, albeit very reduced, on the Peninsula, and General McClellan still had command of it. It had very many commanders, and very many structural changes. It was eventually disbanded in 1865, after the war was over.


  • Brigadier General Irvin McDowell: Commander of the Army and Department of Northeastern Virginia (May 27 - July 25, 1861)
  • Major General George B. McClellan: Commander of the Military Division of the Potomac, and later, the Army and Department of the Potomac (July 25, 1861 - November 9, 1862)
  • Major General Ambrose E. Burnside[?]: Commander of the Army of the Potomac (November 9, 1862 - January 26, 1863)
  • Major General Joseph Hooker: Commander of the Army and Department of the Potomac (January 26 - June 28, 1863)
  • Major General George G. Meade: Commander of the Army of the Potomac (June 28, 1863 - June 27, 1865)

Major Battles and Campaigns

  • 1st Bull Run Campaign (McDowell) (1st Manassas)
  • Peninsular Campaign (McClellan) (Seven Days' Battle)
  • Antietam Campaign (McClellan) (Sharpsburg)
  • Fredericksburg Campaign (Burnside)
  • Chancellorsville Campaign (Hooker)
  • Gettysburg Campaign (Meade)
  • Mine Run Campaign (Meade)
  • Wilderness Campaign (Meade)
  • Spotsylvania Courthouse Campaign (Meade) (including the Battles of Spotsylvania C.H. and Cold Harbor)
  • Petersburg Campaign (Meade) (including the Crater fiasco)
  • Richmond Campaign (Meade)
  • Appomattox Campaign (Meade) (including the surrender at Appomattox C.H.)

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