If there is a single event, which secured the victory of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the Seven Days Battles, it was certainly the infantry attack at Gaines' Mill, executed on the evening of June 27, 1862. A prominent part in the operation was played by the division of Brigadier General William H. C. Whiting, and especially the Texas Brigade under Brigadier General John B. Hood. Moreover, this engagement is also very interesting, because it gives an example of a successful bayonet charge, carried out frontally against enemy protected by field fortifications, as well as the capture of artillery and repelling of cavalry charge. It shows clearly that during the first phase of the Civil War, if infantry had been skillfully led and acted offensively, it would have been able to break through the enemy's defending infantry, armed with rifled muskets and supported by artillery. This charge proved that the decisive factor in this battle (as in many others) was the maintenance of rapid pace of attack and discipline in the ranks, thanks to which charging infantry did not engaged in fruitless firefights, but struck boldly with cold steel. This article also focuses on a single episode in a very interesting history of one of the best infantry brigades of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
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