Congress passed the Militia Act, an ineffectual attempt at conscription. The President was given power only to draft militia forces in states “with deficient or nonexistent conscription laws.” State militias were called up for no more than nine months. Militia quotas were based on the total population of the state. In August 1862 Secretary of War Stanton ordered a draft of 300,000 militia.
Lincoln proclaimed inhabitants of Confederate states “in a state of insurrection against the United States, and that all commercial intercourse,” with certain exceptions, between loyal and rebellious states was unlawful.
The Seven Days Battles, a series of six major battles, began with the Battle of Oak Grove and ended with the Battle of Malvern Hill. Both sides suffered major casualties (Confederate: 20,000; Union: 16,000). McClellan blamed leadership in Washington for losses: “You have done your best to sacrifice this army.”