Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mechanicsville in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Bloody Baptism of Fire

 
 
A Bloody Baptism of Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, February 11, 2011
1. A Bloody Baptism of Fire Marker
Inscription. “It was the work of almost a single minute. The air was filled with sulphurous smoke, and the shrieks and howls of more than two hundred and fifty mangled men rose above the yells of triumphant rebels and the roar of their musketry.”
Theodore F. Vaill Adjutant, 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery

The first heavy fighting at Cold Harbor erupted here, on the afternoon of June 1, 1864, when Grant determined to test the strength of the newly-built Confederate line. The 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery led the way across this ground, hoping to break through Lee’s defenses.

Nearly 1,500 men, fresh from service in the defenses of Washington, and now fighting as infantry, marched with great precision into their first battle. The Confederate line, held by General Thomas Clingman’s North Carolina brigade and located just 150 yards to your front, delivered a devastating fire on the inexperienced unit. Other Federal units broke through the line, but the timely arrival of Confederate reserves and the approach of darkness ended the action. This temporary success encouraged Grant and contributed to his decision to launch an even larger assault on June 3.
 
Erected 2011 by Richmond National Battlefield Park.
 
Location. 37° 
Attack of the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery image. Click for full size.
2. Attack of the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery
The attack by two Union army corps late in the afternoon of June 1 exploited a gap in the southern lines.
35.395′ N, 77° 16.961′ W. Marker is in Mechanicsville, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker can be reached from Anderson-Wright Drive. Click for map. This marker is located in the Cold Harbor Battlefield Unit of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. 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. We Have Broken Through (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Captured Trench (about 500 feet away); 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery (about 500 feet away); Battle of Cold Harbor (about 600 feet away); Keep Digging (about 600 feet away); Stand Guard And Stay Awake (about 600 feet away); Eighth N. Y. Heavy Artillery (about 700 feet away); Keep Your Head Down (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Mechanicsville.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The 19th Connecticut Infantry image. Click for full size.
3. The 19th Connecticut Infantry
The 19th Connecticut Infantry, later reorganized as the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery, shown mustering into service in Litchfield, Connecticut, on September 11, 1862. Some 330 casualties sustained by the regiment at Cold Harbor represented one-and-a-half percent of the male population of Litchfield County.
2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery Monument image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, February 11, 2011
4. 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery Monument
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 594 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement