One year into the Civil War, beset by military and political pressures, General George B. McClellan committed his Army of the Potomac to the Peninsula Campaign, with the capture of Richmond his ultimate goal. Hampered by Lincoln's demand for troops to protect Washington, a limited Union Army entered a series of battles around the community of Hanover Court House, Virginia. Although they forced a Confederate retreat, they missed the opportunity to press on and capture Richmond--an opportunity that never came again. Here is the first detailed look at the battle most widely known as Hanover Court House and Slash Church, focusing on the engagements between Union V Corps commander Fitz John Porter and Confederate General Lawrence O'Bryan Branch. Photographs are included, along with appendices featuring the official reports of both commanders and lists of casualties from both sides.