After First Manassas, a new Union army of three-year men was raised under the command of Gen. George B. McClellan. More than 100,000 of them trained through the fall and winter in a vast encampment that stretched from Alexandria to Fairfax City. And then trained some more. McClellan was a great organizer, but Lincoln began to despair of getting him to fight. It was March 1862 before McClellan got moving. Unwilling to try a direct drive on Richmond, he moved his army to the tip of the peninsula between the York and James rivers. He was still a hundred miles from the enemy capital, but hopeful of slipping in by the back door. It wasn't a bad plan, but McClellan dithered and delayed while the Confederate forces concentrated, and it wasn't until the end of May that the Yankees advanced to within sight of Richmond's church spires. On May 31 Confederate commander Joe Johnston attacked at FAIR OAKS (Seven Pines). The battle was a draw, but the South gained by it because Johnston was wounded and Robert E. Lee took command. Lee lashed McClellan from the York to the James in the SEVEN DAYS BATTLES: Mechanicsville, Gaines's Mill, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp, Frayser's Farm and Malvern Hill. McClellan went into camp until Lincoln recalled him to Washington, arrived too late -- possibly on purpose -- to prevent the disaster of Second Manassas. Because the Peninsula and other Richmond campaigns were scattered all around the city, the National Park Service has set up a central headquarters and information area downtown, on the site of Chimborazo Hospital, said to be the biggest military hospital ever built. From there, maps in hand, you can set out on auto tours along the marvelous byways that were the routes of the campaign. RICHMOND NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD HEADQUARTERS -- Two hours (110 miles) from Washington via I-95 at 3215 East Broad Street (exit marked). Open 10 to 6 weekends, 9 to 5 weekdays