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Gaines' Mill - June 27, 1862 - 5:00 to 7:30pm (December 2020)
American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Gaines’ Mill on June 27, 1862, from 5:00 to 7:30pm
After hours of fruitless and ill-coordinated assaults on the Union V Corps line along Boatswain's Creek, the Confederate high command was finally able to start working as a team. Major General A. P. Hill's division bore the brunt of the late afternoon fighting, now Gen. Robert E. Lee brought the forces of Maj. Gens. James Longstreet, Thomas J. Jackson, Richard S. Ewell, and D. H. Hill to bear on the Union line. Lee's assault force numbered some 42,000 men—making it the largest single assault of the entire Civil War.
Hill and Ewell struck the Federal right and center respectively. The overwhelming number of Rebel troops drove back the Federal right flank. On the Union left, James Longstreet's men wrapped around the Yankee flank. The assault sent the Northerners fleeing toward the Chickahominy River. During the night, the Federals limped across the river and burned the bridges behind them. Gaines’ Mill was the third in the Seven Days Battles and initiated a series of rearguard actions as Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan moved his army to the safety of the James River—handing over the strategic initiative of the Seven Days Campaign to Robert E. Lee.