On the morning of June 27, General Fitz John Porter's men arranged their formidable defenses along the slope of Boatswain's Creek, where you are standing. Orders directed him to resist Lee's advance, "even to my destruction," remembered Porter.
Around 2:30 p.m. the first Confederate troops from A.P. Hill's division attacked the center of Porter's line. The fighting erupted less than ½-mile to your right. Hill's men repeatedly advanced, only to meet destruction in the open fields across the creek. The Steep slope here allowed multiple lines of Union infantry to fire simultaneously, at long range, with great accuracy. Supporting artillery "roared incessantly like a great waterfall." Confronted by this volcano of fire, Hill's command stalled. It would require fresh troops with different tactics to threaten this strong line. Meanwhile, the sun dropped lower on the western horizon.
"This was the strongest point I saw occupied by either army during the war?.The hill was covered by a large and open wood. At its foot a rail fence ran, which had been converted into an excellent breastwork. This was the enemy's first line of battle. About twenty-five yards up the hill was a second line of breastworks, made of logs and dirt, and?on top of the hill was another line behind similar breastworks, and behind this was their artillery." Private John Worsham, 21st Virginia Infantry