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
'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.
'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
'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
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