Thursday, July 01, 2010

Cold Harbor: A terrible place

I always enjoy visiting the Cold Harbor battlefield just outside Richmond, Va. The National Park Service owns just a fraction of the battlefield, including this spot of well-preserved Confederate trenches. In his book on the battle, Ernest Furgurson describes how after the Union assault on Confederate lines, vultures circled the field looking for wounded Federal soldiers to feast upon. Below is a view of the Rebel lines from the Union perspective. This is a peaceful, rural landscape now, but it was a terrible place in June 1864.


  1. So John, I am back. This is my Veterans' day commemoration, 2010. I joined for the free weekend special and found many documents on each of the Wadhams brothers, a tribute to them and their monument, and have cried again at the thought of their lives and deaths, and the impact their sacrifice had on our family over the years. I am touched that you have chosen to celebrate Lumen's life, and to help us shed light on the sacrifices they made for us and our nation. Your videos really did it for me. I could not go on. The tragedy is too deep and sad for this person so affected by the thought of such killing, so close by, of .. well it is a sad day of sad remembrances of brave men, and those who loved them. I will be glad to share what information I have, and look forward to learning more about your interest in the conflict. (I cannot bear to say war any more today).

  2. Hi, Loi. Send me your email address. Would enjoy finding out what information you have. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous2:06 AM

    Paraphrasing a lecture by Yale prof David Blight:

    There were 50,000 Union troops engaged at Cold Harbor, and Grant's army took 7,000 casualties in a half-hour. Union soldiers, before their frontal attack on the well-dug-in Confederate troops, were asked to pin their names and home addresses on their shirts, so they could be identified when dead.

    Before the charge, one Union soldier wrote in his diary, "Morning, June 3rd. I died today."

    And he did.