30 Jan 2018

5 Crucial Tracts of Land at Cold Harbor

5 Crucial Tracts of Land at Cold Harbor

Most people remember Cold Harbor for the disastrous Union assault on June 3, 1864, described by one New York private as “murder, not war.”

Less well known is the tale of the fighting that occurred there two days earlier.

On June 1, 1864, Union and Confederate troops met one other at Cold Harbor with quite different results. Early that day, General Robert E. Lee ordered a portion of his army to attack Union cavalry forces who had seized the Old Cold Harbor crossroads. Easily repulsed by the Yankee horsemen, however, the Confederates pulled back and dug in.

General Ulysses S. Grant, determined to strike the Rebels before they could complete their entrenchments, ordered an attack by the Sixth and Eighteenth Corps. After brushing aside Confederate skirmishers, the Federals engaged in a fierce struggle with Lee’s men, much of it hand-to-hand, over the incomplete breastworks. Darkness ultimately ended the fighting on June 1, with the Southerners falling back to the positions they would occupy during the fateful June 3 assault.

Today, we have the unique opportunity to save five crucial tracts of land at Cold Harbor, totaling 55 acres! These tracts encompass some of the most important land that is still unprotected at Cold Harbor, including the ground over which Union soldiers charged in their fight on June 1, as well as a portion of the line held by the Confederates during the bloody fighting on June 3.

This ground is hallowed indeed, and we need your help if we are going to save it. Help us preserve the memory of those Americans who fought and died on this land in 1864 by saving these 55 acres. Help save Cold Harbor.


American Battlefield Trust

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