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Encyclopedia > Battle of Cold Harbor
Battle of Cold Harbor
Part of the American Civil War

Battle of Cold Harbor by Kurz and Allison, 1888.
Date May 31June 12, 1864
Location Hanover County, Virginia
Result Confederate victory
Combatants
United States of America Confederate States of America
Commanders
Ulysses S. Grant
George G. Meade
Robert E. Lee
Strength
108,000 62,000
Casualties
13,000 2,500
Grant's Overland Campaign
WildernessSpotsylvania Court HouseYellow TavernMeadow BridgeWilson's WharfNorth AnnaHaw's ShopTotopotomoy CreekOld ChurchCold HarborTrevilian StationSaint Mary's Church

The Battle of Cold Harbor, the final battle of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign during the American Civil War, is remembered as one of American history's bloodiest, most lopsided battles. Thousands of Union soldiers were slaughtered in a hopeless frontal assault against the fortified troops of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Grant said of the battle in his memoirs "I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. I might say the same thing of the assault of the 22d of May, 1863, at Vicksburg. At Cold Harbor no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained." This article is becoming very long. ... Download high resolution version (900x619, 475 KB)TITLE: Battle of Cold Harbor CREATED/PUBLISHED: c1888 Dec. ... May 31 is the 151st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (152nd in leap years), with 214 days remaining. ... June 12 is the 163rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (164th in leap years), with 202 days remaining. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Location in the state of Virginia Formed 1720 Seat Hanover Area  - Total  - Water 1,228 km² (474 mi²) 4 km² (1 mi²) 0. ... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (traditional) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Government Republic President... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (traditional) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Government Republic President... Ulysses S. Grant[2] (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American general and the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ... George Gordon Meade (December 31, 1815 - November 6, 1872) was an American military officer during the American Civil War. ... // This article is about the Confederate general. ... Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, opposing commanders in the Overland Campaign The Overland Campaign, also known as Grants Overland Campaign and the Wilderness Campaign, was a series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June 1864, in the American Civil War. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant George G. Meade Robert E. Lee Strength 101,895 61,025 Casualties 18,400 11,400 For the French and Indian War battle, see Battle of the Wilderness 1755. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant George G. Meade Robert E. Lee Strength 100,000 52,000 Casualties 18,000 12,000 The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, sometimes simply referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania, was the second battle in Lieut. ... On May 11th, 1864, Confederate General Jeb Stuart was shot at Yellow Tavern by a Union sharpshooter at a distance of 30 feet (10 m). ... The Battle of Meadow Bridge (also known as the Battle of Richmond Heights) was an engagement on May 12, 1864, in Henrico County, Virginia, during the Overland Campaign of the American Civil War. ... Battle of Totopotomoy Creek Conflict American Civil War Date May 24, 1864 Place Charles City, Virginia Result Union victory The Battle of Wilson’s Wharf (also called Fort Pocahontas) was a battle in Union General Ulysses Grants Overland Campaign against Confederate Gen. ... Battle of Totopotomoy Creek Conflict American Civil War Date May 23–26, 1864 Place Caroline County and Hanover County, Virginia Result Inconclusive The Battle of North Anna (also called Telegraph Road Bridge, Jericho Mill ( May 23), and Ox Ford, Quarles Mill, Hanover Junction ( May 24)) was a battle in... Battle of Totopotomoy Creek Conflict American Civil War Date May 28, 1864 Place Hanover County, Virginia Result Inconclusive The Battle of Haws Shop (also called Enon Church) was a battle in Union General Ulysses Grants Overland Campaign against Confederate Gen. ... Battle of Totopotomoy Creek Conflict American Civil War Date May 28–30, 1864 Place Hanover County, Virginia Result Inconclusive The Battle of Totopotomoy Creek (also called Bethesda Church, Crumps Creek, Matadequin Creek, Shady Grove Road, and Hanovertown) was a battle in Union General Ulysses Grants Overland Campaign against... Battle of Old Church Conflict American Civil War Date May 30, 1864 Place Hanover County, Virginia Result Union victory The Battle of Old Church (also called Matadequin Creek) was a battle in Union General Ulysses Grants Overland Campaign against Confederate Gen. ... The Battle of Trevilian Station (also called Trevilians) was fought June 11–12, 1864, in Union General Ulysses Grants Overland Campaign against Confederate Gen. ... Battle of Totopotomoy Creek Conflict American Civil War Date June 24, 1864 Place Charles City, Virginia Result Inconclusive The Battle of Saint Marys Church (also called Nances Shop) was a battle in Union General Ulysses Grants Overland Campaign against Confederate Gen. ... The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ... Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Ulysses S. Grant[2] (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American general and the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ... Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, opposing commanders in the Overland Campaign The Overland Campaign, also known as Grants Overland Campaign and the Wilderness Campaign, was a series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June 1864, in the American Civil War. ... This article is becoming very long. ... “American history” redirects here. ... Some Confederate soldiers The Confederate States Army (CSA) was formed in February 1861 to defend the Confederate States of America, which had itself been formed that same year when seven Southern states seceded from the United States (four more states soon followed). ... // This article is about the Confederate general. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant John C. Pemberton Strength 70,000 30,000 Casualties 10,142 9,091 (30,000 paroled) The Battle of Vicksburg, or Siege of Vicksburg, was the final significant battle in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil...

Contents

Location

The battle was fought in central Virginia over the same ground as the Battle of Gaines' Mill during the Seven Days Battles of 1862. In fact, some accounts refer to the 1862 battle as the First Battle of Cold Harbor, and the 1864 battle as the Second Battle of Cold Harbor. Soldiers were disturbed to discover skeletal remains from the first battle while entrenching. Despite its name, Cold Harbor was not a port city. It described two rural crossroads named for a hotel located in the area, which provided shelter (harbor) but not hot meals. Old Cold Harbor stood two miles east of Gaines' Mill, New Cold Harbor a mile southeast. Both were approximately 10 miles (16 km) northeast of the Confederate capital of Richmond. Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  Ranked 35th  - Total 42,793 sq mi (110,862 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 430 miles (690 km)  - % water 7. ... Battle of Gaines Mill Conflict American Civil War Date June 27, 1862 Place Hanover County, Virginia Result Confederate victory The Battle of Gaines Mill, also known as the First Battle of Cold Harbor or the Battle of Chickahominy River, took place on June 27, 1862, in Hanover County, Virginia, as... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders George B. McClellan Robert E. Lee Strength Army of the Potomac; 105,445 Army of Northern Virginia; 90,500 Casualties 1,734 killed 8,062 wounded 6,053 missing/captured 3,286 killed 15,009 wounded 946 missing/captured Peninsula... A mile is a unit of length, usually used to measure distance, in a number of different systems, including Imperial units, United States customary units and Norwegian/Swedish mil. ... km redirects here. ... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (traditional) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Government Republic President... Nickname: Motto: Sic Itur Ad Astra (Thus do we reach the stars) Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia County Independent City Government  - Mayor L. Douglas Wilder (I) Area  - City 62. ...


Background and opposing forces

General Ulysses Grant at Cold Harbor, photographed by Mathew Brady in 1864

Grant's Overland campaign had been underway since May 4, 1864. The battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House were bloody stalemates. The Battle of North Anna represented a trap set by Lee, which Grant managed to avoid. After each of these major engagements, Grant maneuvered the Army of the Potomac (formally under the command of Maj. Gen. George G. Meade but under Grant's direct supervision) around Lee's right flank and headed to the southeast. As the Union Army crossed the Pamunkey River and Lee attempted to determine Grant's position and intentions, three smaller engagements occurred at Haw's Shop, Totopotomoy Creek (Bethesda Church), and Old Church. (Some historians classify these three engagements as part of the greater Cold Harbor battle.) From the Old Church engagement, Lee determined that Union cavalry had designs on the Old Cold Harbor crossroads, which led to a road network that would allow easy access to Richmond and Lee's rear areas. Ulysses S. Grant by Mathew Brady This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Ulysses S. Grant by Mathew Brady This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Ulysses Simpson Grant (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American Civil War General and the 18th (1869–1877) President of the United States. ... Image:Matthew Brady 1875 cropped. ... May 4 is the 124th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (125th in leap years). ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant George G. Meade Robert E. Lee Strength 101,895 61,025 Casualties 18,400 11,400 For the French and Indian War battle, see Battle of the Wilderness 1755. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant George G. Meade Robert E. Lee Strength 100,000 52,000 Casualties 18,000 12,000 The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, sometimes simply referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania, was the second battle in Lieut. ... Battle of Totopotomoy Creek Conflict American Civil War Date May 23–26, 1864 Place Caroline County and Hanover County, Virginia Result Inconclusive The Battle of North Anna (also called Telegraph Road Bridge, Jericho Mill ( May 23), and Ox Ford, Quarles Mill, Hanover Junction ( May 24)) was a battle in... Generals Burnside, Hancock, Couch, Ferro, Patrick, Wilcox, Cochrane, Buford and others. ... George Gordon Meade (December 31, 1815 - November 6, 1872) was an American military officer during the American Civil War. ... The Pamunkey River is a tributary of the York River, about 90 mi (145 km) long, in eastern Virginia in the United States. ... Battle of Totopotomoy Creek Conflict American Civil War Date May 28, 1864 Place Hanover County, Virginia Result Inconclusive The Battle of Haws Shop (also called Enon Church) was a battle in Union General Ulysses Grants Overland Campaign against Confederate Gen. ... Battle of Totopotomoy Creek Conflict American Civil War Date May 28–30, 1864 Place Hanover County, Virginia Result Inconclusive The Battle of Totopotomoy Creek (also called Bethesda Church, Crumps Creek, Matadequin Creek, Shady Grove Road, and Hanovertown) was a battle in Union General Ulysses Grants Overland Campaign against... Battle of Old Church Conflict American Civil War Date May 30, 1864 Place Hanover County, Virginia Result Union victory The Battle of Old Church (also called Matadequin Creek) was a battle in Union General Ulysses Grants Overland Campaign against Confederate Gen. ...


Lee received intelligence that reinforcements were heading Grant's way from Bermuda Hundred. The 16,000 men of Maj. Gen. William F. "Baldy" Smith's XVIII Corps were withdrawn from Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler's Army of the James at Grant's request, and they were moving down the James River and up the York to the Pamunkey. If Smith moved due west from White House Landing to Old Cold Harbor, 3 miles (5 km) southeast of Bethesda Church and Grant's left flank, the extended Federal line would be too far south for the Confederate right to deal with it. Federal earthworks at Bermuda Hundred The Bermuda Hundred Campaign was a series of battles fought outside Richmond, Virginia, during May, 1864, in the American Civil War. ... William F. Baldy Smith William Farrar Smith (February 17, 1824 – February 28, 1903), was a civil engineer, a police commissioner, and Union general in the American Civil War. ... XVIII Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War. ... Benjamin Franklin Butler (November 5, 1818 – January 11, 1893) was an American lawyer and politician who represented Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives and later served as its governor. ... The Army of the James was a Union Army that was composed of unites from the Department of Virginia and North Carolina and served along the James River during the last opperations of the Civil War in Virginia. ... The James River at Cartersville The James River in the U.S. state of Virginia is 547. ... The York River is a navigable estuary, approximately 40 mi (64 km) long, in eastern Virginia in the United States. ...


Lee could count on reinforcements of his own. Confederate President Jefferson Davis directed Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard to send the division of Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hoke, over 7,000 men, from below the James River. With these additional troops, and by managing to replace many of his 20,000 casualties to that point in the campaign, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had 59,000 men to contend with Meade's and Grant's 108,000.[1] But the disparity in numbers was no longer what it had been—Grant's reinforcements were often raw recruits and heavy artillery troops, pulled from the defenses of Washington, D.C., who were relatively inexperienced with infantry tactics, while most of Lee's had been veterans moved from inactive fronts, and they would soon be entrenched in impressive fortifications. The President of the Confederate States was the Head of State of the short-lived republic of the Confederate States of America, which seceded from the United States. ... Jefferson Finis Davis (June 3, 1808 – December 6, 1889) was an American politician who served as President of the Confederate States of America for its entire history from 1861 to 1865 during the American Civil War. ... Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard (BO-rih-gahrd) (May 28, 1818 – February 20, 1893), best known as a general for the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, was also a writer, civil servant, and inventor. ... Robert Frederick Hoke (May 14, 1587 – July 9, 2007) was a Confederate Major General from North Carolina during the American Civil War. ... Nickname: Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: Country United States Federal District District of Columbia Government  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - City Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D) Ward 2: Jack... Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defense. ... Table of Fortification, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ...


Battle

May 31

The cavalry forces that had fought at Old Church continued to face each other on May 31. Lee sent a cavalry division under Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee to reinforce Brig. Gen. Matthew Butter and secure the crossroads at Old Cold Harbor. As Union Brig. Gen. Alfred T. A. Torbert increased pressure on the Confederates, Robert E. Lee ordered Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson's First Corps to shift right from Totopotomoy Creek to support the cavalry. The lead brigade of Hoke's division also reached the crossroads to join Butler and Fitzhugh Lee. However, at 4 p.m., Torbert and elements of Brig. Gen. David McM. Gregg's cavalry division drove the Confederates from the Old Cold Harbor crossroads and began to dig in. As more of Hoke's and Anderson's men streamed in, Union cavalry commander Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan became concerned and ordered Torbert to pull back toward Old Church. May 31 is the 151st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (152nd in leap years), with 214 days remaining. ... May 31 is the 151st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (152nd in leap years), with 214 days remaining. ... Fitzhugh Lee in the Civil War Fitzhugh Lee (November 19, 1835 – April 18, 1905), nephew of Robert E. Lee, was a Confederate cavalry general in the American Civil War, Governor of Virginia, diplomat, and U.S. Army general in the Spanish-American War. ... Alfred Thomas Archimedes Torbert (1833-1880) was an American Civil War general in the Union Army. ... Richard H. Anderson Richard Heron Anderson ( October 7, 1821 – June 26, 1879) was a career U.S. Army officer and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. ... David McM. Gregg David McMurtrie Gregg (April 10, 1833 – August 7, 1916) was a farmer, diplomat, and a Union cavalry general in the American Civil War. ... Philip Henry Sheridan (March 6, 1831 – August 5, 1888) was a career U.S. Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. ...


Grant continued his interest in Old Cold Harbor and ordered the VI Corps, under Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright, to move in that direction from his right flank on Totopotomoy Creek. And he ordered Sheridan to secure the crossroads "at all hazards." Torbert returned at 1 a.m. and was relieved to find that the Confederates had failed to notice his previous withdrawal. The VI Corps (Sixth Corps) was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War. ... Horatio G. Wright Horatio Gouverneur Wright ( March 6, 1820 – July 2, 1899) was an engineer and officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. ...


June 1

Robert E. Lee's plan for June 1 was to use his newly concentrated infantry against the small cavalry forces at Old Cold Harbor. But his subordinates did not coordinate correctly. Anderson did not integrate Hoke's division with his attack plan and left him with the understanding that he was not to assault until the First Corps' attack was well underway, because the Union defenders were disorganized as well. Wright's VI Corps had not moved out until after midnight and was on a 15-mile (24 km) march. Smith's XVIII Corps had mistakenly been sent to New Castle Ferry on the Pamunkey River, several miles away, and did not reach Old Cold Harbor in time to assist Torbert. June 1 is the 152nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (153rd in leap years), with 213 days remaining. ... June 1 is the 152nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (153rd in leap years), with 213 days remaining. ...

Cold Harbor, June 1      Confederate      Union

Anderson led his attack with the brigade formerly commanded by veteran Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Kershaw, which was now under a less experienced South Carolina politician, Col. Lawrence M. Keitt. Keitt's men approached the entrenched cavalry of Brig. Gen. Wesley Merritt. Armed with seven-shot Spencer repeating carbines, Merritt's men delivered heavy fire, mortally wounding Keitt and destroying his brigade's cohesion.[2] Hoke obeyed what he understood to be his orders and did not join in the attack, which was quickly called back by Anderson. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1570x2081, 430 KB)Battle of Cold Harbor of the American Civil War, actions on June 1, 1864. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1570x2081, 430 KB)Battle of Cold Harbor of the American Civil War, actions on June 1, 1864. ... June 1 is the 152nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (153rd in leap years), with 213 days remaining. ... Joseph Brevard Kershaw (January 5, 1822 – April 13, 1894) was a Confederate general in the American Civil War. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32°430N to 35°12N... Lawrence M. Keitt was a South Carolina politician that led a Confederate Army brigade during the Battle of Cold Harbor in the American Civil War. ... Wesley Merritt (June 16, 1834 – December 3, 1910) was a general in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War. ... The Spencer repeating rifle was a falling block, repeating rifle fed from a removable magazine. ...


By 9 a.m., Wright's lead elements arrived at the crossroads and began to extend and improve the entrenchments started by the cavalrymen. Although Grant had intended for Wright to attack immediately, his men were exhausted from their long march and they were unsure as to the strength of the enemy. Wright decided to wait until after Smith arrived, which occurred in the afternoon, and the XVIII Corps men began to entrench on the right of the VI Corps. The Union cavalrymen retired to the east.


At 6:30 p.m., the attack that Grant had ordered for the morning finally began. Both Wright's and Smith's corps moved forward. Wright's men made little progress south of the Mechanicsville Road, which connected New and Old Cold Harbor, recoiling from heavy fire. North of the road, Brig. Gen. Emory Upton's brigade of Brig. Gen. David A. Russell's division also encountered heavy fire from Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Clingman's brigade, "A sheet of flame, sudden as lightning, red as blood, and so near that it seemed to singe the men's faces."[3] Although Upton tried to rally his men forward, his brigade fell back to its starting point. Portrait of Emory Upton during the Civil War Emory Upton (August 27, 1839 – March 15, 1881) was a U.S. Army general and military strategist. ... David Allen Russell (December 10, 1820 – September 19, 1864) was a career United States Army officer who served in the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. ... Categories: Stub | 1812 births | 1897 deaths | United States Senators ...


To Upton's right, the brigade of Col. William S. Truex found a gap in the Confederate line, between the brigades of Clingman and Brig. Gen. William T. Wofford, through a swampy, brush-filled ravine. As Truex's men charged through the gap, Clingman swung two regiments around to face them, and Anderson sent in Brig. Gen. Eppa Hunton's brigade from his corps reserve. Truex became surrounded on three sides and was forced to withdraw, although his men brought back hundreds of Georgian prisoners with them. William S. Truex was a colonel in the Union Army during the American Civil War. ... William Tatum Wofford (June 28, 1824 – May 22, 1884) was a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. ... Eppa Hunton II (September 24, 1822 – October 11, 1908) was a U.S. Representative and Senator from Virginia and a brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. ...


By dark, the fighting petered out. The Union assault had cost it 2,200 casualties with little to show for them besides capturing 750 prisoners.[4] Several of the generals, including Upton and Meade, were furious at Grant for ordering an assault without proper reconnaissance.


June 2

Although the June 1 attacks had been unsuccessful, Meade believed that an attack early on June 2 could succeed if he was able to mass sufficient forces against an appropriate location. He and Grant decided to attack Lee's right flank. Anderson's men had been heavily engaged there on June 1, and it seemed unlikely that they had found the time to build substantial defenses. And if the attack succeeded, Lee's right would be driven back into the Chickahominy River. Meade ordered Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock's II Corps to shift southeast from Totopotomoy Creek and assume a position to the left of Wright's VI Corps. Once Hancock was in position, Meade would attack on his left from Old Cold Harbor with three Union corps in line, totaling 31,000 men: Hancock's II Corps, Wright's VI Corps, and Baldy Smith's XVIII Corps. Also, convinced that Lee was moving troops from his left to fortify his right, Meade ordered Warren and Burnside to attack Lee's left flank in the morning "at all hazards."[4] June 2 is the 153rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (154th in leap years), with 212 days remaining. ... June 1 is the 152nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (153rd in leap years), with 213 days remaining. ... June 2 is the 153rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (154th in leap years), with 212 days remaining. ... June 1 is the 152nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (153rd in leap years), with 213 days remaining. ... Chickahominy also known as the Chick is a river in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Virginia, near which several battles of the United States Civil War were fought in 1862 and 1864. ... Portrait of Winfield S. Hancock during the Civil War Winfield Scott Hancock (February 14, 1824 - February 9, 1886) was born in Montgomery Square, Pennsylvania and named after the famous general Winfield Scott. ... There were five corps in the Union Army designated as II Corps (Second Corps) during the American Civil War. ...


Hancock's men marched almost all night and arrived too worn-out for an immediate attack that morning. Grant agreed to let the men rest and postponed the attack until 5 p.m., and then postponed it again until 4:30 a.m. on June 3. But Grant and Meade did not give specific orders for the attack, leaving it up to the corps commanders to decide where they would hit the Confederate lines and how they would coordinate with each other. Nor had any senior commander reconnoitered the enemy position. Baldy Smith wrote that he was "aghast at the reception of such an order, which proved conclusively the utter absence of any military plan." He told his staff that the whole attack was, "simply an order to slaughter my best troops."[5] June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ...


Robert E. Lee took advantage of the Union delays to bolster his defenses. When Hancock departed Totopotomoy Creek, Lee was free to shift the division of Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge to his far right flank, where he would once again face Hancock. Breckinridge drove a small Union force off Turkey Hill, which dominated the southern part of the battlefield. Lee also moved troops from Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill's corps, the divisions of Brig. Gens. William Mahone and Cadmus M. Wilcox, to support Breckinridge, and stationed cavalry under Fitzhugh Lee to guard the army's right flank. The result was a curving line on low ridges, 7 miles (11 km) long, with the left flank anchored on Totopotomoy Creek, the right on the Chickahominy River, making any flanking moves impossible. John C. Breckinridge This article is about the politician and Confederate General. ... Ambrose Powell Hill (November 9, 1825 _ April 2, 1865), was a Confederate States of America general in the American Civil War. ... William Thomas Mahone (December 1, 1826 – October 8, 1895), of Southampton County, Virginia was a civil engineer, teacher, soldier, railroad executive, and a member of the Virginia General Assembly and U.S. Congress. ... Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox (May 20, 1824 – December 2, 1890) was a career U.S. Army officer who served in the Mexican War and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. ...


Lee's engineers used their time effectively and constructed the "most ingenious defensive configuration the war had yet witnessed."[6] Barricades were erected of earth and logs. Artillery was posted with converging fields of fire on every avenue of approach, and stakes were driven into the ground to improve the accuracy of gunners' range estimates. A newspaper correspondent wrote that the works were, "Intricate, zig-zagged lines within lines, lines protecting flanks of lines, lines built to enfilade an opposing line, ... [It was] a maze and labyrinth of works within works."[5] Heavy skirmish lines suppressed any ability of the Union to determine the strength or exact positions of the Confederate entrenchments.


Although they did not know the details of their objectives, the Union soldiers who had survived the frontal assaults at Spotsylvania Court House seemed to be in no doubt as to what they would be up against in the morning. Many were seen writing their names on papers that they pinned inside their uniforms, so their bodies could be identified. One blood-spattered diary from a Union soldier found after the battle included a final entry: "June 3, 1864. Cold Harbor. I was killed."


On the northern end of the battlefield, Union Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren's V Corps linked up with Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's IX Corps near Bethesda Church. Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early's corps, on Lee's left flank, pushed forward and captured several of Warren's skirmishers. Light fighting occurred throughout the night, having little effect on the main battle to come. Burnside at one point was advised to attack Early's unprotected flank on Shady Grove Road, but he demurred. Gouverneur K. Warren Gouverneur Kemble Warren (8 January 1830 – 8 August 1882) was a civil engineer and prominent officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. ... The V Corps (Fifth Corps) was a unit of the Union Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War. ... Ambrose Everett Burnside (May 23, 1824 – September 13, 1881) was a railroad executive, inventor, industrialist, and politician from Rhode Island, serving as governor and a U.S. Senator. ... IX Corps (Ninth Corps) was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War that distinguished itself in combat in multiple theaters: the Carolinas, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. ... Jubal Anderson Early (November 3, 1816 – March 2, 1894) was a lawyer and Confederate general in the American Civil War. ...


June 3

Cold Harbor, June 3

At 4:30 a.m. on June 3, the three Union corps began to advance through a thick ground fog. Massive fire from the Confederate lines quickly caused heavy casualties, and the survivors were pinned in place. Although the results varied in different parts of the line, the overall repulse of the Union advance was the most lopsided defeat since the assault on Marye's Heights at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862. June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1573x2078, 484 KB)Battle of Cold Harbor of the American Civil War, actions on June 3, 1864. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1573x2078, 484 KB)Battle of Cold Harbor of the American Civil War, actions on June 3, 1864. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ambrose E. Burnside Robert E. Lee Strength Army of the Potomac ~114,000 engaged Army of Northern Virginia ~72,500 engaged Casualties 12,653 (1,284 killed, 9,600 wounded, 1,769 captured/missing) 5,377 (608 killed, 4,116...


The most effective performance of the day was on the Union left flank, where Hancock's corps was able to break through a portion of Breckinridge's front line and drive those defenders out of their entrenchments in hand-to-hand fighting. Several hundred prisoners and four guns were captured. However, nearby Confederate artillery was brought to bear on the entrenchments, turning them into a death trap for the Federals. Breckinridge's reserves counterattacked these men from the division of Brig. Gen. Francis C. Barlow and drove them off. Hancock's other advanced division, under Brig. Gen. John Gibbon, became disordered in swampy ground and could not advance through the heavy Confederate fire, with two brigade commanders lost as casualties. One of Gibbon's men, complaining of a lack of reconnaissance, wrote, "We felt it was murder, not war, or at best a very serious mistake had been made."[7] For the band from Florida see Hand to Hand. ... Francis C. Barlow Francis Channing Barlow (October 19, 1834 – January 11, 1896) was a lawyer, politician, and Union general during the American Civil War. ... John Gibbon John Gibbon (April 20, 1827 – February 6, 1896) was a career U.S. Army officer who fought in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. ...


In the center, Wright's corps was pinned down by the heavy fire and made little effort to advance further, still smarting from their costly charge on June 1. The normally aggressive Emery Upton felt that further movement by his division was "impracticable." Confederate defenders in this part of the line were unaware that a serious assault had been made against their position. June 1 is the 152nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (153rd in leap years), with 213 days remaining. ...


On the Union right, Smith's men advanced through unfavorable terrain and were channeled into two ravines. When they emerged in front of the Confederate line, rifle and artillery fire mowed them down. A Union officer wrote, "The men bent down as they pushed forward, as if trying, as they were, to breast a tempest, and the files of men went down like rows of blocks or bricks pushed over by striking against one another." A Confederate described the carnage of double-canister artillery fire as "deadly, bloody work."[8] The artillery fire against Smith's corps was heavier than might be expected because Warren's V Corps to his right was reluctant to advance and the Confederate gunners in Warren's sector concentrated on Smith's men instead.


The only activity on the northern end of the field was by Burnside's IX Corps, facing Jubal Early. He launched a powerful assault that overran the Confederate skirmishers but mistakenly thought he had pierced the first line of earthworks and halted his corps to regroup before moving on, which he planned for that afternoon.


At 7 a.m., Grant advised Meade to vigorously exploit any successful part of the assault. Meade ordered each of his three corps commanders to assault at once, without regard to the movements of their neighboring corps. But all had had enough. Hancock advised against the move. Smith, calling a repetition of the attack a "wanton waste of life," refused to advance again. Wright's men increased their rifle fire but stayed in place. By 12:30, Grant conceded that his army was done. He wrote to Meade, "The opinion of the corps commanders not being sanguine of success in case an assault is ordered, you may direct a suspension of further advance for the present."[9] Union soldiers still pinned down before the Confederate lines began entrenching, using cups and bayonets to dig, sometimes including bodies of dead comrades as part of their improvised earthworks.


Meade inexplicably bragged to his wife the next day that he was in command for the assault. But his performance had been poor. Despite orders from Grant that the corps commanders were to examine the ground, their reconnaissance was lax and Meade failed to supervise them adequately, either before or during the attack. He was able to motivate only about 20,000 of his men to attack—the II Corps and parts of the XVIII and IX—failing to achieve the mass he knew he required to succeed. His men paid heavily for the poorly coordinated assault. Estimates of casualties that morning are from 3,000 to 7,000 on the Union side, no more than 1,500 on the Confederate.


June 4June 12

Burial party after the battle. Photo by Alexander Gardner taken in 1865.
Burial party after the battle. Photo by Alexander Gardner taken in 1865.

Grant and Meade launched no more attacks on the Confederate defenses at Cold Harbor. Although Grant wired Washington that he had "gained no decisive advantage" and that his "losses were not severe,"[10] he later said that he regretted for the rest of his life the decision to send in his men. The two opposing armies faced each other for nine days of trench warfare, in some places only yards apart. Sharpshooters worked continuously, killing many. Union artillery bombarded the Confederates with a battery of eight Coehorn mortars; the Confederates responded by depressing the trail of a 24-pound howitzer and arcing shells over the Union positions. Although there were no more large-scale attacks, casualty figures for the entire battle were twice as large as from the June 3 assault alone. June 4 is the 155th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (156th in leap years), with 210 days remaining. ... June 12 is the 163rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (164th in leap years), with 202 days remaining. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2506x1899, 545 KB)Cropped and color-corrected by Hal Jespersen. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2506x1899, 545 KB)Cropped and color-corrected by Hal Jespersen. ... Alexander Gardner. ... US soldier loading a M224 60-mm mortar. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ...


The trenches were hot, dusty, and miserable, but conditions were worse between the lines, where thousands of wounded Federal soldiers suffered horribly without food, water, or medical assistance. Grant was reluctant to ask for a formal truce that would allow him to recover his wounded because that would be a signal he had lost the battle. He and Lee traded notes across the lines from June 5 to June 7 without coming to an agreement, and when Grant formally requested a two-hour cessation of hostilities, it was too late for most of the unfortunate wounded, who were now bloated corpses. Grant was widely criticized in the Northern press for this lapse of judgment. June 5 is the 156th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (157th in leap years), with 209 days remaining. ... June 7 is the 158th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (159th in leap years), with 207 days remaining. ...


On June 4, Grant tightened his lines by moving Burnside's corps behind Matadequin Creek as a reserve and moving Warren leftward to connect with Smith, shortening his lines about 3 miles (5 km). On June 6, Early probed Burnside's new position but could not advance through the impassable swamps. June 4 is the 155th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (156th in leap years), with 210 days remaining. ... June 6 is the 157th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (158th in leap years), with 1 day remaining // 1508 - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, is defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces; he is forced to sign a three-year truce and cede several territories to Venice 1513...


Grant realized that, once again in the campaign, he was in a stalemate with Lee and additional assaults were not the answer. He planned three actions to make some headway. First, in the Shenandoah Valley, Maj. Gen. David Hunter was making progress against Confederate forces, and Grant hoped that by interdicting Lee's supplies, he would be forced to dispatch reinforcements to the Valley. Second, on June 7 he dispatched his cavalry under Sheridan (the divisions of Brig. Gens. David McM. Gregg and Wesley Merritt) to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad near Charlottesville. Third, he planned a stealthy operation to withdraw from Lee's front and move across the James River. Lee reacted to the first two actions as Grant had hoped. He pulled Breckinridge's division from Cold Harbor and sent it toward Lynchburg to parry Hunter. (By June 12, he followed this by assigning Jubal Early permanent command of the Second Corps and sending them to the Valley as well.) And he sent two of his three cavalry divisions in pursuit of Sheridan. However, despite anticipating that Grant might shift across the James, Lee was taken by surprise when it occurred. On June 12, the Army of the Potomac finally disengaged to march southeast to cross the James and threaten Petersburg, a crucial rail junction south of Richmond. Canoeing on the Shenandoah River near Winchester, VA. The Shenandoah Valley region of western Virginia, from Winchester to Staunton, is bounded by the Blue Ridge mountains to the East and the Allegheny mountains to the West. ... David Hunter David Hunter (July 21, 1802 – February 2, 1886) was a Union general in the American Civil War. ... June 7 is the 158th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (159th in leap years), with 207 days remaining. ... David McM. Gregg David McMurtrie Gregg (April 10, 1833 – August 7, 1916) was a farmer, diplomat, and a Union cavalry general in the American Civil War. ... Wesley Merritt (June 16, 1834 – December 3, 1910) was a general in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War. ... Nickname: C-Ville Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia County Albemarle County Founded 1762  - Mayor David E. Brown Area    - City 26. ... The Allied Arts Building in downtown Lynchburg, completed in 1931. ... June 12 is the 163rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (164th in leap years), with 202 days remaining. ... June 12 is the 163rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (164th in leap years), with 202 days remaining. ... Location Location in the State of Virginia Coordinates , Government Country State County United States Virginia Independent city Founded December 17, 1748 Mayor Annie M. Mickens Geographical characteristics Area     City 60. ...


Aftermath

The Battle of Cold Harbor was the final victory won by Lee's army during the war (part of his forces won the Battle of the Crater the following month, during the Siege of Petersburg, but this did not represent a general engagement between the armies), and its most decisive in terms of casualties. The Union army, in bravely attempting the futile assault, lost 10,000 to 13,000 men over twelve days. The battle brought the toll in Union casualties since the beginning of May to a total of more than 52,000, compared to 33,000 for Lee. Although the cost was horrible, Grant's larger army finished the campaign with lower relative casualties than Lee. Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ambrose E. Burnside Robert E. Lee Strength IX Corps elements of the Army of Northern Virginia Casualties 5,300 total 1,032 total The Battle of the Crater was a battle of the American Civil War, part of the Siege... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant Robert E. Lee Strength 67,000 – 125,000 average of 52,000 Casualties 53,386 ~32,000 The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign was a series of battles around Petersburg, Virginia, fought from June 15, 1864, to March...


Estimates vary as to the casualties at Cold Harbor. The following table summarizes estimates from a variety of popular sources:

Casualty Estimates for the Battle of Cold Harbor
Source Union Confederate
Killed Wounded Captured/
Missing
Total Killed Wounded Captured/
Missing
Total
National Park Service       13,000       2,500
Bonekemper, Victor, Not a Butcher 1,844 9,077 1,816 12,737 83 3,380 1,132 4,595
Eicher, Longest Night       12,000       "few
thousand"
Fox, Regimental Losses 1,844 9,077 1,816 12,737        
Rhea, Cold Harbor       6,000
(June 3)
      1,500
Smith, Grant 1,769 6,752 1,537 10,058        

Some authors (Catton, Esposito, Foote, McPherson, Smith) estimate the casualties for the major assault on June 3 and all agree on approximately 7,000 total Union casualties, 1,500 Confederate. Gordon Rhea, considered the preeminent modern historian of Grant's Overland campaign, has examined casualty lists in detail and has published a contrarian view in his 2002 book, Cold Harbor. For the morning assault on June 3, he can account for only 3,500 to 4,000 Union killed, wounded, and missing, and estimates that for the entire day the Union suffered about 6,000 casualties, compared to Lee's 1,000 to 1,500.[11] Although this is a horrific loss, it is dwarfed by Lee's daily losses at Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Pickett's Charge, and is comparable to Malvern Hill. June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders George B. McClellan Robert E. Lee Strength 87,000 45,000 Casualties 12,401 (2,108 killed, 9,540 wounded, 753 captured/missing) 10,316 (1,546 killed, 7,752 wounded, 1,018 captured/missing) The Battle of Antietam (also... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Joseph Hooker Robert E. Lee Stonewall Jackson† Strength 133,868 60,892 Casualties 17,197 (1,606 killed, 9,672 wounded, 5,919 missing)[1] 12,764 (1,665 killed, 9,081 wounded, 2,018 missing)[1] The Battle of... Map of Picketts Charge, July 3, 1863. ... Battle of Malvern Hill Conflict American Civil War Date July 1, 1862 Place Henrico County, Virginia Result Union victory The Battle of Malvern Hill, also known as the Battle of Poindexter’s Farm, took place on July 1, 1862 in Henrico County, Virginia as part of the Peninsula Campaign...


The battle caused a rise in anti-war sentiment in the Northern states. Grant became known as the "fumbling butcher" for his poor decisions. It also lowered the morale of his remaining troops. But the campaign had served Grant's purpose—as foolish as his attack on Cold Harbor was, Lee was trapped. He beat Grant to Petersburg, barely, but spent the remainder of the war (save its final week) defending Richmond behind a fortified trench line. Although Southerners realized their situation was desperate, they hoped that Lee's stubborn (and bloody) resistance would have political repercussions by causing Abraham Lincoln to lose the 1864 presidential election to a more peace-friendly candidate. But the taking of Atlanta in September dashed these hopes, and the end of the Confederacy was just a matter of time. Morale is a term for the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal. ... For other uses, see Abraham Lincoln (disambiguation). ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Palisades and chevaux-de-frise in front of the Potter House, Atlanta, Georgia, 1864. ...


References

  • Bonekemper, Edward H., III, A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant's Overlooked Military Genius, Regnery, 2004, ISBN 0-89526-062-X.
  • Catton, Bruce, Grant Takes Command, Little, Brown, 1968.
  • Eicher, David J., The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, Simon & Schuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
  • Esposito, Vincent J., West Point Atlas of American Wars, Frederick A. Praeger, 1959.
  • Foote, Shelby, The Civil War, A Narrative: Red River to Appomattox, Random House, 1974, ISBN 0-394-74913-8.
  • Fox, William F.: Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, Albany Publishing, 1889 (online text)
  • Grant, Ulysses S., Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Charles L. Webster & Company, 1885–86, ISBN 0-914427-67-9.
  • Jaynes, Gregory, and the Editors of Time-Life Books, The Killing Ground: Wilderness to Cold Harbor, Time-Life Books, 1986, ISBN 0-8094-4768-1.
  • McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), Oxford University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0.
  • Rhea, Gordon C., The Battle of Cold Harbor, National Park Service Civil War Series, Eastern National, 2001, ISBN 1-888213-70-1.
  • Rhea, Gordon C., To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13–25, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8071-2535-0.
  • Rhea, Gordon C., Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26 – June 3, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-8071-2803-1.
  • Smith, Jean Edward, Grant, Simon and Shuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84927-5.
  • U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880–1901.

Bruce Catton (October 9, 1899 — August 28, 1978) was a journalist and a notable historian of the American Civil War. ... Shelby Foote (November 17, 1916 – June 27, 2005) was a noted author and historian of the American Civil War. ... For the Civil War General of a similar name see James B. McPherson James M. McPherson (born October 11, 1936) is an American Civil War historian, and is the George Henry Davis 86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. ... Jean Edward Smith is an accomplished educator and biographer having authored such works as Grant, John Marshall: Definer of a Nation, and Presently he is the John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University. ... The Official Records of the American Civil War or often more simply the Official Records or ORs, constitute a unique, authentic, and comprehensive collection of first-hand accounts, orders, reports, and correspondence drawn from War and Navy Department records of both Confederate and Union governments during the American Civil War. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Eicher, p. 685.
  2. ^ Jaynes, p. 152.
  3. ^ Rhea, Battle of Cold Harbor, p. 38.
  4. ^ a b Jaynes, p. 154.
  5. ^ a b Jaynes, p. 156.
  6. ^ Rhea, Battle of Cold Harbor, p. 42.
  7. ^ Rhea, Battle of Cold Harbor, p. 45.
  8. ^ Rhea, Battle of Cold Harbor, pp. 45-46.
  9. ^ Rhea, Battle of Cold Harbor, p. 47.
  10. ^ Rhea, Battle of Cold Harbor, p. 48.
  11. ^ Rhea, Cold Harbor, p. 386.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Battle of Cold Harbor (792 words)
In 1864 the Army of the Potomac and a large part of the Army of the James formed a junction near Cold Harbor, a locality in Hanover county, Va., originally known as Cool Arbor, and the old battleground of McClellan and Robert E. Lee in June, 1862.
Sheridan had seized the point at Cold harbor, and the Nationals took a position extending from beyond the Hanover road to Elder Swamp Creek, not far from the Chickahominy.
Their loss in this engagement, and in the immediate vicinity of Cold Harbor, was reported at 13,153, of whom 1,705 were killed and 2,406 were missing.
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Battle of Cold Harbor (8159 words)
The Battle of Cold Harbor was the final victory won by Lee's army during the war (part of his forces won the Battle of the Crater the following month, during the Siege of Petersburg, but this did not represent a general engagement between the armies), and its most decisive in terms of casualties.
Cold Harbor National Cemetery, established in 1866, is located on the site of the Battle of Cold Harbor, a clash that would be General Robert E. Lee's "last great battle in the field," and the only one Union General Ulysses S. Grant would regret.
Cold Harbor, Battle of, one of the bloodiest military engagements of the American Civil War (1861-1865).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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