Text and photograph from Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War, Vol. II. Negative by John Reekie, text and positive by Alexander Gardner.
Gaines' Mill is the place from which the battle of June 27th, 1862, takes its name. Situated near the centre of our line, it was the scene of severe fighting, and at the close of that bloody day, the building was used as a hospital. All of the structure that would burn, was destroyed in one of the raids around Richmond, leaving only the brick superstructure, above which, scorched by the fire, the dead trees spread their blackened branches. In front, the partially exposed skeleton illustrates the hasty manner of the soldier's burial, it being by no means uncommon for the rains to wash away the shallow covering, and bring to view the remains of the dead. The owner of the mill did not have a creditable reputation in the army. Returned prisoners, captured at his house, state that when our troops left the neighborhood, he turned out the sick and wounded from his barns and outbuildings, and held high carnival, with his friends of the rebel army, digging up his buried wine for their delectation. If this is true, he suffered no more than his deserts, in the destruction of his property. It is more than probable that his house would have fared no better than the mill, if our advance at Cold Harbor, in June, 1864, had been successful in forcing its way to the positions formerly occupied by our army.
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