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

The Decisive Moment

 
 
The Decisive Moment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 11, 2011
1. The Decisive Moment Marker
Inscription. “Dashing up the steep bank, being within thirty yards of the enemy’s works, we flew towards the breastworks, cleared them, and slaughtered the retreating devils as they scampered up the hill towards their battery.” Decimus Barziza, 4th Texas Infantry

The decisive moment of the Battle of Gaines’ Mill came around 7:00 p.m. where you are standing. Frustrated by the unsuccessful piecemeal assaults, Lee approached Brigadier General John Bell Hood and asked “Can you break this line?” Hood replied, “I will try.”

Approaching the creek, Hood waved his sword and shouted, “Forward! Forward!” The Texans and Georgians broke into a run, screaming the piercing Rebel Yell. Federals along the front line found Hood’s line unstoppable. They turned and fled up the hill, crashing into the second and third lines. Retreat turned to rout.

A mile away on the Confederate left, another breakthrough occurred at nearly the same time, initiating an argument about who penetrated the Union line first. Perhaps it was Lee’s presence in this sector of the battlefield that pinned the recognition on Hood’s brave men.
 
Erected 2011 by Richmond National Battlefield Park.
 
Location. 37° 34.488′ 
Gaines' Mill Battlefield - Boatswain Creek image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 11, 2011
2. Gaines' Mill Battlefield - Boatswain Creek
N, 77° 17.639′ W. Marker is in Mechanicsville, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker can be reached from Watt House Road (Virginia Route 718) 0.7 miles south of Cold Harbor Road (Virginia Route 156). Touch for map. This marker is located in the Gaines' Mill Battlefield unit of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6283 Watt House Road, Mechanicsville VA 23111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Grand Assault (within shouting distance of this marker); The Union Left Flank (within shouting distance of this marker); Pickett’s Brigade, CSA (within shouting distance of this marker); Hood's Attack (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Battle Begins (about 300 feet away); Whiting's Advance (about 300 feet away); Morell’s Division, USA (about 600 feet away); Powerful Position (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mechanicsville.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photograph with the caption, "Lieutenant William D. Rounsavall lost his arm here; his brother John was fatally wounded. They were only two of nearly 250 men killed and wounded in the 4th Texas Infantry on June 27."
 
Also see . . .
1. Richmond National Battlefield Park. (Submitted on June 12, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. Gaines’ Mill. CWSAC Battle Summary (Submitted on June 12, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

3. The Battle of Gaines' Mill. Civil War Trust (Submitted on June 12, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 12, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 625 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 12, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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