|Remains of Union trench near the Cold Harbor battlefield visitors center.|
|At least 97 Union soldiers died at Garthright House, |
used as a field hospital at Cold Harbor.
To preserve these slices of history, the Park Service has posted signs warning visitors to not walk on the trenches. But judging from the footprints on the remaining mounds of earth, that warning sometimes goes ignored. Near the Garthright House, a field hospital at Cold Harbor, Hanover County maintains a 50-acre park that includes a one-mile walking trail and preserved trenches and rifle pits. Trenches are also evident on privately held land on the battlefield.
|Relic hunting is |
at Cold Harbor.
"The work of intrenching could only be done at night," Union officer Martin McMahon wrote. "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 all day; all night the zigzags and parallels nearer to the enemy's works were being constructed. In none of its marches by day or night did that army suffer more than during those twelve days. Rations and ammunition were brought forward from parallel to parallel through the zigzag trenches, and in some instances where regiments whose term of service had expired were ordered home, they had to leave the field crawling on hands and knees through the trenches to the rear." (1)
(1) "Battles And Leaders of the Civil War," Volume 4.
|Remains of Confederate breastworks and trenches at Cold Harbor.|
|Remains of a Union trench are behind this historical marker at Cold Harbor.|