“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
  Home  — My Markers  — Add A Marker  — Marker Series  — Links & Books  — Forum  — About Us
Click First to browse through the results shown on this page.   First >> 
Click to map all markers shown on this page.
Related Markers
Take a Virtual Tour by Markers of the Cold Harbor Battlefield Park Walking Trail and Garthright House. Use the “First >>” button above to see these markers in sequence.
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 against the entrenched Confederates. You are standing near the center of the Union lines, held by the Sixth Corps. From here, Grant’s lines extended two miles south to the Chickahominy River and nearly five miles to the north. To view this section of . . . — 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 you. The Garthright House and outbuildings can be seen in the background. The tree-lined Cold Harbor road sits off to the right. The sketch appeared in the June 25, 1864, issue of Harper’s Weekly with the following description by the artist: . . . — 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 William H. Penrose crossed this ground and passed the nearby Garthright House. At first a “death-dealing artillery fire” raked the Federals, then blasts of Confederate musketry. The Federal attack stalled after an advance of more than a half . . . — 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 of Confederate sharpshooters prevented Union soldiers from moving freely behind the lines. “There was no cover from the fire of the enemy,” a veteran observed, except in the trench itself. To move safely between front and rear, Union . . . — 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 was “a murderous engagement” because “we were recklessly ordered to assault the enemy’s entrenchments.” The gallantry of the Union soldiers at Cold Harbor is a powerful testament to their commitment. “This is a pretty . . . — 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 trenches, with their rifles, canteens, blankets, and haversacks, waiting for the call to the front. “The baking down of the summer sun became intolerable,” remarked one veteran, “that the line of men would canopy the whole trench . . . — 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: As I came near one of the regiments which was making preparations for the next morning’s assault, I noticed that many of the soldiers had taken off their coats, and seemed to be engaged in sewing up rents in them. This exhibition of tailoring seemed . . . — 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 they spotted a target. Southern cannoneers responded, but their projectiles either ripped into the ground in front of the Union guns, or passed harmlessly overhead. Rarely during this two week battle were the guns silent. Constant shelling . . . — 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 from serving in the defenses of Baltimore and now fighting as infantry, had seen only limited action before Cold Harbor. Starting from this vicinity on the morning of June 3, 1864, the 8th New York attacked the Confederate earthworks located 500 yards . . . — 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, separating them for protection. The ammunition chests were carried behind the guns and placed in trenches dug for their protection. One artilleryman recalled that spare ammunition was wrapped in raincoats and placed near the guns. This hill . . . — 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 direction, many times without apparent order. The earthworks in front of you are typical of the hundreds of pits that remain on the Cold Harbor battlefield. We do not know who built them, or even why; perhaps they sheltered the cannoneers of the battery . . . — 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 Confederates advanced south through here during the final stages of the battle of Gaines’ Mill. Union artillery posted on a plateau half a mile to your right dropped shells among the Confederates every few seconds. After several hours of inconclusive fighting, . . . — 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 officer described their tactics at Cold Harbor: “If one caught a glimpse of an enemy anywhere, he would sight carefully at that spot…if someone appeared, he had only to press his trigger.” A soldier from the 15th New Jersey Infantry was . . . — 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 John Gibbon wrote, “A few hours were all that was necessary to render any position so strong by breastworks that the opposite party was unable to carry it and it became a recognized fact amongst the men themselves that when the enemy had . . . — 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 could only be done at night. The fire of sharp-shooters was incessant, and no man upon all that line could stand erect and live an instant. This condition of things continued for twelve days and nights: Sharp-shooters’ fire from both sides went on . . . — 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 for Petersburg, the Confederates set up their field hospital in the Garthright House. — 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. Thomas W. Hooper, 1895 James Hooper died in 1754. Following the Hoopers, the old farmhouse and surrounding fields were home to the Garthrights during the Civil War and the McGhees in later years. Members of both families probably are buried in this . . . — Map (db m16209) HM
17 markers matched your search criteria.
Click to map all markers shown on this page.
Click First to browse through the results shown on this page.   First >> 

More Search Options
Near You

States and

Counties or

To search within this page, hold down the Ctrl key and press F.
On an Apple computer,
hold down the Apple key and press F.