"The most terrific fire I ever witnessed, except at Gettysburg." Col. Eppa Hunton, 8th Virginia Infantry
"It was one continued roar of cannons & musketry you could not hear yourself think. Such desperate fighting never graced the pages of history." David Hyde, 9th Pennsylvania Reserves
In these fields and woods unfolded the largest and bloodiest battle of the Seven Days—Gaines' Mill. On the morning of June 27, 1862, Union General Fitz John Porter deployed his entire Fifth Corps, over 27,000 in total, behind the swampy waters of Boatswain's Creek. He ordered a hundred guns to unlimber along the length of this plateau, known locally as Turkey Hill.
Around noon Lee's forces converged on Porter's mile-and-a-half front. Confederate probes struck first near the Union center before expanding to the left and right. The climax of the fighting occurred around 7:00 p.m. when General Hood's Confederates broke through the Union position along the creek and swarmed up the hillside in front of you, spearheading the largest charge Lee's Confederate army would make during the war—almost 55,000 strong.