Mechanicsville in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
A Bloody Baptism of Fire
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° Touch 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mechanicsville.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 13, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 671 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 13, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.