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Take a Virtual Tour by Markers of the Cold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail and Garthright House.
Garthright House image, Click for more information
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
Garthright House
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — Cold Harbor Battlefield Walking TrailHanover County Parks and Recreation
For thirteen days Union and Confederate armies faced each other around Cold Harbor, their lines separated by only 150 yards of ravaged ground. Twice, on June 1 and June 3 1864, savage fighting erupted when the Federals launched massive assaults . . . — Map (db m16214) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — Cold Harbor: June 2, 1864Hanover County Parks and Recreation
This drawing (below) by the famous Civil-War artist, Alfred Waud, provides a rare glimpse of the Cold Harbor battlefield, sketched from this very spot on June 2, 1864. Union cannons blazed away at the Confederate lines only a half-mile in front of . . . — Map (db m15279) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — The Battle OpensCold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail
By mid-afternoon on June 1, 1864, Ulysses S. Grant massed 45,000 Federals near Old Cold Harbor, 800 yards east of here. At 5:00 p.m. he ordered an attack, hoping to split Lee’s army into two parts. Six veteran New Jersey regiments under Colonel . . . — Map (db m16185) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — From Farmland to ForestCold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail
Time has changed this landscape dramatically since the war. In 1864, much of the Co1d Harbor area was cleared farmland. One Federal believed this openness of the land was “the greatest part of the misery” at Cold Harbor. The deadly fire . . . — Map (db m16186) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — A Dreadful HarvestCold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail
The grim drama at Cold Harbor cost some 13,000 Federals and nearly 5,0000 Confederates killed, wounded, or captured. Southern morale soared after the battle, while Grant’s men were embittered by the lopsided defeat. One Union officer wrote that it . . . — Map (db m16188) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — Union Reserve LineCold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail
The Union front lines lay 325 yards west of here; reserve troops occupied this ground. These Union pits may have been a stop along the relay system that brought reinforcements and supplies to the forward line. Imagine soldiers huddled inside these . . . — Map (db m16190) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — Preparation For Battle
On June 2, 1864, the night before the grand assault at Cold Harbor, Union staff officers passed among the battle lines issuing orders. One officer, Major Horace Porter, was in this vicinity when he witnessed a scene of foreboding. Porter recalled: . . . — Map (db m16195) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — A Well Preserved Union Artillery Position
You are standing in front of a Union artillery battery, located on a commanding hill about 400 yards behind the front lines. From here Union officers watched for activity along the Confederate lines, and opened fire with a barrage of shells whenever . . . — Map (db m16196) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — The Bloody EighthCold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail
The 8th New York Heavy Artillery joined the Army of the Potomac midway through the Overland Campaign in an effort to offset the Federal casualties suffered at the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania. The regiment of 1,600 men, still fresh . . . — Map (db m16198) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — Federal Artillery BatteryCold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail
Under the cover of night, Union artillerists left their horses at the foot of the hill behind you and dragged six rifled cannon up the slope by hand. The guns were then placed side by side inside this redoubt, with earthen mounds known as traverses, . . . — Map (db m16199) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — Scars of Conflict
Twelve days of combat transformed this once pastoral landscape. With every shift of a line of battle, the soldiers dug new works. Reserve troops dug too, well behind the front lines. By battle’s end, earthworks gouged the landscape in every . . . — Map (db m16200) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — The Battle of Gaines’ Mill - 1862Cold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail
All the visible remains along the trail date from the June 1864, Battle of Cold Harbor, but this ground figured prominently in the Seven Days campaign of 1862 as well. On June 27, 1862, General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s . . . — Map (db m16202) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — The Deadly Work of SharpshootersCold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail
Adding to the misery of the Union and Confederate soldiers at Cold Harbor was the fear of enemy sharpshooters. Quite often armed with special rifles these marksmen would prey on any unfortunate soldier who appeared in their sights. A Confederate . . . — Map (db m16204) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — Digging In
By the time the armies reached Cold Harbor soldiers on both sides were adept at building earthworks. The trenches before you are typical of the works that stretched for nearly seven miles and defined the fighting here at Cold Harbor. Union general . . . — Map (db m16207) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — Misery In The Trenches
The earthworks before you were home to Union soldiers for nearly two weeks during the fighting at Cold Harbor. One Federal officer described the suffering that these troops endured living and working in the trenches: “The work of intrenching . . . — Map (db m16208) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — Field HospitalGarthright House - 1864
During the Battle of Cold Harbor in June, 1864, the Union turned this middle-class plantation into a field hospital. The residents – forced to move to the basement – watched blood dripping down between the floorboards. After Grant left . . . — Map (db m15227) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Mechanicsville — The Family Cemetery
“Near Cold Harbor stands the house where my father was born, and not far from the house there is a graveyard, surrounded by a brick wall…there sleep the generations of my forefathers. In that enclosure is buried Mr. James Hooper. Dr. . . . — Map (db m16209) HM

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