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The Battle of Gaines' Mill
June 27, 1862

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Other Names: First Cold Harbor
Location: Hanover County, VA
Campaign: Peninsula Campaign (March-September 1862)

Principal Commanders:
Union: Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter [US]
Confederate: Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: 91,232 total (US 34,214; CS 57,018)

Estimated Casualties: 15,500 total (US 6,800; CS 8,700)

Description: This was the third of the Seven Daysí Battles. On June 27, 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee renewed his attacks against Porterís V Corps, which had established a strong defensive line behind Boatswainís Swamp north of the Chickahominy River. Porterís reinforced V Corps held fast for the afternoon against disjointed Confederate attacks, inflicting heavy casualties. At dusk, the Confederates finally mounted a coordinated assault that broke Porterís line and drove his soldiers back toward the river. The Federals retreated across the river during the night.

Defeat at Gainesí Mill convinced McClellan to abandon his advance on Richmond and begin the retreat to James River. Gainesí Mill saved Richmond for the Confederacy in 1862.

Sources:
National Park Service
The Civil War, American Heritage (Doubleday, 1960)


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