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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Mechanicsville in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Polegreen Church

Stalemate at Totopotomoy Creek

 

—Lee vs. Grant – The 1864 Campaign —

 
Polegreen Church Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, January 31, 2009
1. Polegreen Church Marker
Inscription. Following the cavalry fight at Enon Church on May 28, 1864, Lee moved to block Grant’s advance toward Richmond. He stationed his army along a ridge protected by swampy Totopotomoy Creek. When Union infantry arrived they found Lee’s soldiers solidly dug in. Gen. Winfield Hancock’s Second Corps scouted the position on May 29, then attacked on May 30 and captured a small section of Southern trenches.

Frustrated in his attempts to break Confederate lines at the Totopotomoy, Grant looked for another way to lure Lee into the open. Once again, he tried to maneuver his army between Lee and Richmond. The Union commander ordered a concentration at Cold Harbor.

To screen the Federal movement, Grant launched an assault on June 1 near here that produced a lively artillery duel. Nearby Polegreen Church suffered the misfortune of resting between the lines. Shells fired by the Richmond Howitzers at Union sharpshooters in the church hit the building causing it to catch fire and burn to the ground.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Location. 37° 38.717′ N, 77° 19.837′ W. Marker is near Mechanicsville, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker is at the intersection of Rural Point Road (County Route 643) and Heatherwood
Prelude to Cold Harbor. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, January 31, 2009
2. Prelude to Cold Harbor.
Drive, on the right when traveling north on Rural Point Road. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6411 Heatherwood Drive, Mechanicsville VA 23116, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Polegreen Church (a few steps from this marker); Site of Polegreen (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Historic Polegreen Church (within shouting distance of this marker); The Polegreen Story (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Polegreen Church (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Polegreen Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Totopotomoy Creek (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); 36th Wisconsin (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Mechanicsville.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a sketch of Union soldiers probing the Confederate lines. The sketch carries the caption, Combat artist A.R. Waud sketched members of Gen. Francis Barlow’s division scouting the Confederate lines behind the Totopotomoy.

On the right is a map illustrating troop movements toward Cold Harbor. The map carries the caption, For three days the opposing armies tested each other along the banks of the Totopotomoy. After dark May 31,
Polegreen Church Historic Site. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, January 31, 2009
3. Polegreen Church Historic Site.
Horatio Wright’s Union corps and Richard Anderson’s Confederate corps left their trenches and marched toward Cold Harbor. Hancock’s US corps followed the next night.

 
Also see . . .
1. Historic Polegreen Church Foundation. (Submitted on February 3, 2009.)
2. The Battle of Totopotomoy Creek, May 29-31, 1864. Richmond National Battlefield Park (Submitted on November 29, 2014.) 

3. Totopotomoy Creek. CWSAC Battle Summary (Submitted on February 3, 2009.) 
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.War, US Civil
 
Polegreen Church CWT Marker (relocated) Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, July 4, 2010
4. Polegreen Church CWT Marker (relocated)
Genl. Barlow in front of the rebel works. 12 miles from Richmond Photo, Click for full size
By Alfred R. Waud, 1864
5. Genl. Barlow in front of the rebel works. 12 miles from Richmond
Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-14912]
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,074 times since then and 102 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   5. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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