Near Mechanicsville in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
“We work hard last night & dawn on the 4th have a heavy work completed. We have quit sleeping almost entirely.”
“Last night we strengthened our works with a stockade & a cheaveau de freize, we worked all night, skirmishing all day...."
At Cold Harbor the quality of a soldier’s entrenchments could mean the difference between life and death. Men in both armies incorporated lessons learned earlier in the campaign at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania to make their Cold Harbor fortifications even stronger. They piled up dirt and framed it with wood to create durable and defensible positions. The wood has rotted and the earth erodes slowly, yet even today these sagging lines convey power and security. Seven consecutive miles of defenses like these stood between Grant and Richmond in June 1864. Modern historian Earl Hess, in his study on the evolution of fortifications in the Overland Campaign, calls the surviving entrenchments at Cold Harbor “the most singular set Civil War fieldworks we have.”
Erected 2010 by Richmond National Battlefield Park.
Location. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5515 Anderson-Wright Drive, Mechanicsville VA 23111, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Between the Lines (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate Breastworks (about 600 feet away); Grant's Grand Assault (about 800 feet away); The Waters Ran Red (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Lethal Occupation (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bayonets Are For Digging (approx. 0.2 miles away); Those People Stand No Chance (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Cold Harbor Killing Fields (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Mechanicsville.
More about this marker. The large drawing on the panel carries the caption, "When the armies withdrew on June 12-13, they left behind a scarred landscape. Many of the entrenchments survive today because they were so substantial that farmers proved unwilling or unable to destroy them."
Also see . . .
1. Richmond National Battlefield Park. (Submitted on August 20, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. Cold Harbor. CWSAC Battle Summary (Submitted on August 20, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
3. Cold Harbor. Civil War Preservation Trust (Submitted on August 20, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
4. Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one at this location titled “Confederate Position" (Submitted on August 20, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, World I •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 497 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.