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Major Charles Jarvis Whiting Major (then Captain) Whiting was the man who led the charge of the Fifth United States Cavalry upon the advancing Confederate infantry ordered by General Philip St. George Cooke at Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862. He could entertain no hope of victory. The Confederates were already too near to allow of an effective charge. It was practically a command to die in order to check the Confederate column until infantry reenforcements could be rushed forward to save some imperiled batteries. Over twenty-five per cent. of the troopers who rode through the Confederate lines were killed, wounded, or missing.

Gaines' mill From this rural Virginia spot the battle of June 27th took its name. At the close of that fearful day the building fell into use as a hospital. It was later burned during a Federal raid, and nothing but the gaunt walls remain. The skull that lies in front of the mill evidently belonged to one of those brave cavalrymen who gave up their lives to save their comrades. He may have received a soldier's hasty burial, but it was by no means unusual for the heavy rains to wash away the shallow covering of soil, and to have exposed to view the remains of the men who had gone to their reward.

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