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Mechanicsville in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Watt Family Farm

Gaines’ Mill – 1862

 

—Richmond National Battlefield Park —

 
Watt Family Farm Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
1. Watt Family Farm Marker
Inscription. Civil War armies selected battlefields without regard to the civilians who made their homes there. The resulting death and destruction affected the residents’ lives for decades.

The Watts lived here for nearly 60 years before the battle. They owned 523 acres and 28 slaves who tended the fields of corn, oats, wheat and potatoes.

On June 27, 1862, nearly 100,000 soldiers battled within a two-mile radius of this farmhouse. In the aftermath ”the walls and roof were torn with shot and shell,” a visitor wrote, ”the weather-boarding honeycombed by Minnie balls, and every pane of glass shattered.” The bloody work of the surgeons devastated the interior. Fresh graves surrounded the house, and the rail fences, crops and equipment necessary to operate the farm were destroyed or carried away.
 
Erected by Richmond National Battlefield Park - National Park Service.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 37° 34.438′ N, 77° 17.444′ W. Marker was in Mechanicsville, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker was on Watt House Road (Virginia Route 718), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in the Gaines’ Mill
Marker with Watt House Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
2. Marker with Watt House
The Watt House served as headquarters for Union Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter during the Battle of Gaines' Mill.
Battlefield Unit of Richmond National Battlefield Park. Marker was in this post office area: Mechanicsville VA 23111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. The Watt House (here, next to this marker); Springfield Plantation (a few steps from this marker); Seven Days Battles (a few steps from this marker); Gaines' Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Lee’s First Victory: At a Huge Cost (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Pursuit (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Gaines' Mill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Union Artillery (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Mechanicsville.
 
More about this marker. The left side of the marker contains a portrait of Sarah Watt. It has a caption of “On the day of the battle, the family and servants moved the ailing 77-year-old widow, Sarah Watt, to the safety of a nearby farm. She died the next spring and it is believed she was buried in an unmarked grave south of the house. The right of the marker features a picture of the Watt family leaving their house. It has the caption “As the armies arrived, the Watt family evacuated the farm.” An inset picture of the interior of the house contains
Watt Family Farm Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
3. Watt Family Farm
The Union placed their artillery here on the Watt Farm during the June 27, 1862 Battle of Gaines' Mill. The Watt farmhouse can be seen in the background.
the caption “Battle-damaged rafters were reinforced and much of the interior was rebuilt in 1957. Watt House is now a park residence.”
 
Regarding Watt Family Farm. This marker was replaced by a new one named Springfield Plantation (see nearby markers).
 
Also see . . .
1. Gaines’ Mill. CWSAC Battle Summaries website. (Submitted on January 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Places To Go in Richmond National Battlefield Park. National Park Service website. (Submitted on January 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. The Seven Days Battle. HistoryCentral.com website. (Submitted on January 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

4. Gaines' Mill Battlefield Loop Trail. This marker is one along the loop trail in the Gaines' Mill Battlefield unit of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. (Submitted on February 26, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Watt Family Farm Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
4. Watt Family Farm
The Union line on the Watt Farm was overrun late in the day on June 27, 1862, forcing the Federals to retreat to the Chichahominy River.
Richmond National Battlefield Park Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
5. Richmond National Battlefield Park
Marker is in the Gaines’ Mill Battlefield Unit of Richmond National Battlefield Park.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,324 times since then and 63 times this year. Last updated on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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