Photos from Gaines Mill (Civil War – Seven Days Battles 1862)


Hello Readers,

We have family visiting from another state – and this usually means we end up going to at least one Civil War “somethin’ or other” —  the joke around Richmond, Virginia is that “anywhere you go, there is always something related to the 1860s” – a memorial, monument, a reenactment, a brick wall, or a battlefield site.

This sign was put up in 1932

We went to Gaines Mill. It is the fourth or fifth time we have been at one the Seven Days Battlefields at the end of June – which is the anniversary week for The Seven Days’ Battles, which ran from June 25 to July 1, 1862 – as part of the Peninsula Campaign during the American Civil War.

This is the Watts House on Springfield Plantation – sometimes these plantations make me mad. Anyhow, this  house was taken over by the Union and used for battle planning and helping the wounded. 

There are many trails to walk and some had the split-rail fence guiding us to the woods.

I guess soldiers used the wood from the split-rail fence for firewood (both the confederate and union soldiers).

There are two cannons on display at this site.

Short video with info about Civil War cannons and how they helped the union reach victory.

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looking inside one of the cannons, we saw bird eggs.

This is not the best image, but there was an extra nice feeling seeing the little eggs in the cannon – this strong iron tool made for battle and destruction had such delicate little eggs inside – which were teeming with life! When you walk around battlefields there are moments where it just feels so heavy! Knowing so many lives were lost on the very ground you are standing can tug at the heart. The light and delicate bird eggs brought a peaceful feeling.

 

  • The experience of visiting a Civil War battlefield is different each time – depending on time of year, who is with us, which site we are at, etc.
  • Some folks we bring expect us to be mini experts and want us to give them stories and historical facts or lessons. Other folks give us the history lessons and rattle off names, dates, and campaigns with such passion. 
  • On this recent visit, there was not too much talking as we all read the info signs, walked and walked, and then just appreciated the quiet and the green.


Also, the site we were at, the Gaines Mill battlefield, is near the location where some local teens (Dylan and Eric) died in car crash back in 2016 (a teen driver was speeding on a notoriously narrow and dangerous turn on a Hanover County road).

Being near that crash site added to my reflective mode – how sad it was at the time – how much life has changed since 2016 – and then also going from what our country went through in the mid 1800s to the current events of today – blah! 

So yeah, seeing the little bird eggs in the cannon was a beautiful contrast.

 

Here are some of the details from the seven days battles in 1862

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Let’s end with a timeless quote from the Civil War that many folks need to keep in mind right now:

“We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together.”

– N B F

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48 thoughts on “Photos from Gaines Mill (Civil War – Seven Days Battles 1862)

  1. You’re busy with family and still managing to post Yvette. Great video so simplistic and informative. 👏👏👏
    I also really loved how the eggs are there instead of the cannons that destroyed and are giving live. Enjoy your time with family! 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It did speak to my soul – I like how you worried that !
      It also reminded me of how trials (and wars) do end – even if it feels like something is endless

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Some timely reminders from US history there, at a time when the Supreme Court seems hellbent on taking the country back to the 1860s. Like others, I love the symbolism of the egg in the cannon – would that all firearms were rendered equally useless. Enjoy the family visit 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Such an important time in our history. Yet I feel I know so little about it. Like only sentences from a book or one lecture in a classroom.

    I lived in Virginia for many years and have visited/seen the reminders. A Civil War never settles anything. Now more than ever we need to be aware of the strife in our midst today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh the wise and
      astute Lady Sighs
      Who sings and uses humor
      But also has a serious side!
      I hope our country can find some common ground and more unity

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Terri – thanks for the comment and the visit is almost over – had been nice to get at least one visit to a battle site earlier this week
      ☀️☀️☀️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love visiting battlegrounds for the history, but always leave with a heavy feeling at the tremendous loss of lives. Great photos, Yvette!

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    1. Hi Jan, I know what you mean about the heavy feeling – even though fire me it depends / like when we took my mother n law I felt under the microscope as she was acting like I should have known all about the site we were at! Lol
      And that one had an audio message so I was able to easily defer to that –
      Thanks for the visit

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  5. We drive to Florida on the I75 and pass many Civil War sites. I have read some books about the war that are letters from soldiers on both sides. The horror of those battles! I’m with you in finding much hope in the little eggs in the cannon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne – thanks for checking out this post – and I bet you those sites along the i-75 are unique – and I am glad we still have letters (I heard about some of the General letters talked about the “promoting to incompetence” and how sometime folks get promoted to where they are ineffective and might need to be demoted – interesting stuff
      📩

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the bird’s nest in the cannon. I remember visiting Gettysburg and reading about the winter the soldiers spent there. So sad..

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  7. Hi Yvette, this is such an interesting post. Thanks for sharing all these pictures. I am very interested in wars and the American Civil War is no exception.

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  8. Yvette, thank you for sharing these lovely pictures, facts, and the amazing bird egg in the cannon!! What a surprise that must’ve been to see such a delicate thing in this heavy cannon. It must feel heavy to walk those grounds and to know how the loss of lives that happened there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there– Thanks for the nice comment and I wish I could get a better photo to show the eggs in the back but I didn’t want to “mess with the nest”
      😭🪺🪺

      And sometimes it does feel heavy but not always – and actually in November when I first visited the Watts house on this plantation – I was “annoyed” because the information sign notes how the widow had to leave in the middle of the night with her possessions – as the Union took her house – ugh! And they show her slaves helping her escape in the night!
      It was a sobering reminder of how wrong slavery was and how the view was on her escaping and being forced to leave – but not about her crimes against humans. It was very biased.

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  9. I have to ask (though I don’t expect you to be the expert!): are split rail fences likes that typical? It looks like they are freestanding and perhaps were used for defence? There’s something threatening about them.

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    1. Hi – I can look it up later – and vaguely recall when my boys were in jr boy scouts (an organization we were glad to leave) – they had a lesson about these
      The marvel is that no screws are used and it is all about placement of the wood pieces – they are solid and might have helped with some barrier and defense but not sure how much-
      And one of the fenced was loose and so we were able to see more of the marvel at how they can be assembled without screws and without tongue and groove firings!
      And I guess that the real usefulness of these fences – on both sides – was as great firewood!
      🔥

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s so interesting. They look really solid! I can see the usefulness of being able to build a fence without driving in posts or needing screws or extra wire. They are really substantial aren’t they? And that’s a great stack of firewood too. Thanks, Yvette 🙂

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  10. War, war… People have forgotten what it is. They think it’s just like TV.
    Thanks for the bird’s nest. That was refreshing…

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  11. Thank you for the history lesson and I have heard that about RVA as well … all the monuments, though a few have disappeared quietly in recent years. I would like to go to France one day to see the monument on the beach erected for D-Day. That is awesome, the delicate eggs in such a brutally destructive weapon of war.

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