“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Mechanicsville in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Powerful Position

Powerful Position Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, August 25, 2010
1. Powerful Position Marker
Inscription.  On the morning of June 27, General Fitz John Porter’s men arranged their formidable defenses along the slope of Boatswain’s Creek, where you are standing. Orders directed him to resist Lee’s advance, “even to my destruction,” remembered Porter.

Around 2:30 p.m. the first Confederate troops from A.P. Hill’s division attacked the center of Porter’s line. The fighting erupted less than ˝-mile to your right. Hill’s men repeatedly advanced, only to meet destruction in the open fields across the creek. The Steep slope here allowed multiple lines of Union infantry to fire simultaneously, at long range, with great accuracy. Supporting artillery “roared incessantly like a great waterfall.” Confronted by this volcano of fire, Hill’s command stalled. It would require fresh troops with different tactics to threaten this strong line. Meanwhile, the sun dropped lower on the western horizon.

“This was the strongest point I saw occupied by either army during the war….The hill was covered by a large and open wood. At its foot a rail fence ran, which had been converted into an excellent breastwork. This was the enemy’s first line of
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battle. About twenty-five yards up the hill was a second line of breastworks, made of logs and dirt, and…on top of the hill was another line behind similar breastworks, and behind this was their artillery.”
Private John Worsham, 21st Virginia Infantry
Erected 2010 by Richmond National Battlefield Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is June 27, 1900.
Location. 37° 34.503′ N, 77° 17.522′ W. Marker is near Mechanicsville, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker can be reached from Watt House Road, 0.7 miles south of Cold Harbor Road (Virginia Route 156), on the right when traveling south. This marker is located on the walking trail along Boatswain Creek in the Gaines' Mill Battlefield unit of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6283 Watt House Road, Mechanicsville VA 23111, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Gaines' Mill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Battle Begins (about 300 feet away); The Union Left Flank (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of Gaines’ Mill (about 500 feet away); Hood's Attack (about 500 feet away); Gaines' Mill
Powerful Position Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, August 25, 2010
2. Powerful Position Marker
(about 500 feet away); Lee’s First Victory: At a Huge Cost (about 500 feet away); Confederate Pursuit (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mechanicsville.
More about this marker. On the right is an illustration of the strong defensive position held by the Union army.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Old Marker At This Location titled "A Powerful Position".
Also see . . .
1. Richmond National Battlefield Park. (Submitted on August 25, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.)
2. Gaines' Mill. CWSAC Battle Summary (Submitted on August 25, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.) 

3. The Battle of Gaines' Mill. Civil War Trust (Submitted on June 13, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 975 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 25, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Dec. 2, 2023