previous next
[291] in this battle of Gaines' Mill, but braver, daring and more heroic endeavor was never made by patriotic soldiers than on that day, all along the lines, especially by Hill's North Carolinians and Virginians, Lawton's Georgians, and memorably by Hood's Texans, who stormed the heights of Turkey and McGehee's hills, sweeping across fences and ditches, through fallen timber and abatis, and over intrenchments which blazed with sheeted fire from infantry and artillery, from the entire Federal front, leaving well-nigh half of their comrades dead or wounded on the way, and rolling back, in a sullen tide of defeat, both the regulars and the volunteers of Porter's corps, and becoming masters of the heights they had so bravely stormed. As it ever did, Jackson's Stonewall brigade pushed into the thickest of the fight, across the path of Ewell, and bore its full share in winning this glorious victory.

Porter's men were brave fighters and could not well have been asked to do more than they did to hold their position. Especially was this true of the Federal center and left, which held on stubbornly after Jackson had crushed their right. To the disposing of these Jackson then addressed himself, sending Whiting with the 4,000 of Hood and Law, to move with trailed arms, at doublequick, down the slope to the swamp and then rush up the steep ascent to the Federal fortress. Hood's Texans on the right, with Law's Mississippians and Alabamians on the left, swept silently forward, losing a thousand men as they advanced; then, with wild yell, leaped over obstruction after obstruction, cleared the breastworks, and followed in hot pursuit the retreating Federals that fled before their fierce courage and withering fire. All caught the notes of coming victory, and to its wild music rushed forward and helped to make that victory complete.

The reinforcements that McClellan had brought across the Chickahominy were just in time to oppose the onward rush of the Confederates, and to form a line of defense behind which the routed Federals could rally, enabling Porter to form a new line with 35,000 men, just in front of the Chickahominy, on the very verge of Turkey hill. This Porter managed with soldierly skill and obstinately held on until darkness enabled him to cross that stream, destroy the bridges behind him, and join McClellan's main body on the south side of that river. The loss of 7,000

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Turquie (Turkey) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fitz John Porter (4)
Stonewall Jackson (3)
John B. Hood (3)
George B. McClellan (2)
W. H. C. Whiting (1)
Virginians (1)
Lawton (1)
Law (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
Richard S. Ewell (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: