Gaines' Mill - June 27, 1862
American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Civil War Battle of Gaines’ Mill on June 27, 1862.
In the early hours of June 27, 1862, Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter’s Union V Corps abandoned their position at Beaver Dam Creek and established a new defensive line behind Boatswain’s Swamp, just north of the Chickahominy River. During the afternoon, the Federals beat back successive waves of disjointed Southern attacks, inflicting some of the heaviest casualties of the war up to this point. By dusk, however, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederates were better organized. The divisions of Maj. Gens. Richard S. Ewell and D. H. Hill from Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s wing supported the Confederate center and left while Maj. Gen. James Longstreet attacked on the Confederate right. With daylight fading, the reinforced Southerners assaulted Porter’s line and sent the Northerners fleeing toward the river. The defeat at Gaines’ Mill convinced Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan to abandon the campaign against Richmond and “change his base” of operations to the James River.
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