Watt Family Farm (Gaines’ Mill Battlefield)

The Watt Family Farm is a must see when you are touring the civil war sites!

Historical Marker Transcription

The Watt House
Gaines’ Mill Battlefield

Entrenched in three lines on this plateau, the right wing of McClellan’s army, withdrawn from Beaver Dam Creek, resisted Confederate attacks on June 27, 1862 until driven back at nightfall by a general assault.

watt family farm in RVA

 

Watt Family Farm

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.

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