Explore the key sites of this bloody engagement of the Seven Days’ battles before Richmond.
(32 photos in gallery)
Target Property at Gaines' Mill
In 2014, the Civil War Trust turned over this 285-acre portion of the Gaines' Mill battlefield to the National Parks Service. On June 27, 1862, Confederates under James Longstreet charged across this field during their assault on Fitz John Porter's Federals.
Touring the McDougle Tract at Gaines' Mill
Members of the Civil War Trust visiting our McDougle tract during the 2012 Annual Conference.
Farm Lane at Gaines' Mill
This one-lane farm road is one of the very few modern sites at Gaines' Mill. This otherwise pristine hallowed ground looks just as it did in 1862.
Union artillery across Boatswain's Creek to the east and across the Chickahominy to the south shelled Longstreet's Confederates as they rushed across this field on June 27, 1862. In 2014, the Trust turned over this important piece of hallowed ground to the National Park Service.
Gaines' Mill Battleflags
Waite Rawls, Museum of the Confederacy
Battleflags carried at Gaines' Mill by the 11th Alabama (left) and the 19th Virginia (right). Both of these regiments advanced across land now saved by the Civil War Trust.
After crossing open ground the Trust worked to save in 2011, Longstreet's Confederates then had to cross the murky waters of Boatswain's Creek--all while under fire from Yankees on the opposite bank.
Crossing Boatswain's Creek
NPS historian Bobby Krick crosses the swampy ravine of Boatswain's Creek while the Civil War Trust's Director of Membership and Development, David Duncan, looks on.
Library of Congress/Rob Shenk
The Alabamians of Cadmus Wilcox's became engaged in a hot firefight with the Yankees entrenched on the opposite bank of Boatswain's Creek. The monument at right was erected to commemorate the Alabamians' bravery.
The Intensity of Battle
This interpretative sign on the Gaines' Mill battlefield describes the brutal struggle between Longstreet's Confederates and the Federals of Fitz John Porter's Fifth Corps.
"Desperate Valor" courtesy of Gallon Historical Art www.gallon.com
Confederate General John Bell Hood leads the Texas Brigade over the Federal works at Gaines' Mill in this painting by Dale Gallon
Texas Monument at Gaines' Mill
Erected in 2012, this new monument commemorates the important role that the Texas Brigade made at the Battle of Gaines' Mill.
Touring the Adams Farm
Civil War Trust Board members touring the Adams Farm on the Gaines' Mill battlefield - this unprotected tract contains much of the battlefield.
Ed Bearss and Bobby Krick at Gaines' Mill
Ed Bearss and Bobby Krick - two of the best Civil War battlefield guides around - lead a group of American Battlefield Trust members around the Gaines' Mill battlefield.
Professor Lowe's Balloon at Gaines' Mill
Library of Congress
Union soldiers prepare Thaddeus Lowe's reconnaissance balloon for assent. This photograph was taken just prior to the Battle of Gaines' Mill on edge of the property preserved by the American Battlefield Trust.
Storm over Gaines' Mill
A summer storm brews over the Gaines' Mill battlefield - the largest and bloodiest of the Seven Days battlefields.
Walking the Ground
Civil War Trust Board members walking the ground at Gaines' Mill.
Tad and Andrew Druart at Gaines' Mill
Tad and Andrew Druart visiting the Gaines' Mill battlefield during our 2012 Annual Conference. Andrew is a recipient of the Civil War Trust's Junior Preservation Leader award.
The Adams Tract at Gaines' Mill
View from the Union perspective towards the Confederates attacking the Union right at Gaines' Mill.
Union Positions at Gaines' Mill
This farm road roughly follows one of the roads available to the Union army at Gaines' Mill
Saved Land Along Boatswain's Creek
View of Boatswain's Creek in the heart of the Gaines' Mill battlefield. In 2011, the Trust saved the land on the left of this photo.
In their charge through these woods, Southerners encountered the Union brigade of Charles Griffin. Griffin's Yankees resisted the Confederate onslaught for several hours before being overrun.
Gaines' Mill Signs
These historical markers describe the approach of Stonewall Jackson's forces on June 27, 1862
Gaines' Mill Commanders
Library of Congress
The Battle of Gaines' Mill was primarily an uneven match between the roughly 30,000 men of Fitz John Porter's Fifth Corps (right) and more than 60,000 Confederates under Robert E. Lee
Federal Artillery at Gaines' Mill
Supporting Porter's infantry were several batteries of Union artillery. These guns helped keep the Confederates at bay for most of the day.
Friday battle on the Chickahominy
Library of Congress
In this sketch, Fitz John Porter's infantry fends off Confederate attempts to drive them from their positions at Gaines' Mill and into the Chickahominy River.
National Park Property at Gaines' Mill
The primary Federal defensive position at Gaines' Mill, Turkey Hill, has been preserved in large part by the National Park service. This land was the site of the Confederate breakthrough that gave Lee his first victory as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia
Guns of Gaines' Mill
Though the Federal batteries supporting Porter's infantry rendered valiant service, artillery alone could not stem the Southern tide. Having suffered substantial casualties and lacking reinforcements, a number of guns were lost to the Confederates.
Located on National Park Service property, this structure figured prominently in the final phases of the Battle of Gaines' Mill
Storm Clouds over the Battlefield
A summer storm brews over the Watt House on Turkey Hill.
This Douglas Southall Freeman marker on the Gaines' Mill battlefield describes the advance of W. H. C. Whiting's Confederate division, the very troops who ultimately broke the Federal line in the evening of June 27, 1862.
Dead at Gaines' Mill
Library of Congress
This grisly wartime photo shows the remains of the dead at the Gaines' Mill battlefield
Unprotected Land at Gaines' Mill
Though much of the Gaines' Mill battlefield is currently protected by the National Park Service, there are still significant portions of the battlefield - like the land seen here - that remain in private hands.