James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
loss was 15,849, Lees 20,614.1 Lees was naturally the greater as he fought constantly on the offensive, but the victory was his, as he had driven the enemy away from Richmond. In these seven days Lees soldiers began to love him and to acquire a belief that he was invincible, a belief which lasted almost to the very end of the war.
Next day after Malvern Hill, McClellan with his army retired to Harrisons Landing, a safe position on the James river, where he might have the help of gunboats and where the navy ensured him constant communication with the North. But from being in sight of the steeples of Richmond, he was now twenty to twenty-five miles away. His Peninsular campaign had been a failure. McClellan, wrote Meade privately of his friend six months later, was always waiting to have everything just as he wanted before he would attack, and before he could get things arranged as he wanted them, the enemy pounced on him and thwarted all his plans. Such a general will never command success, though he may avoid disaster.2
On July 8, Lee fell back to his old quarters in the vicinity of Richmond. Our success, he wrote to his wife, has not been so great or complete as we could have desired, but God knows what is best for us.3 Nevertheless all conditions united to brighten the hopes of the South. To the work of conscription which was urged with vigor, a response seemed assured that would show the enthusiasm of the people to have been quickened by their armys success.4