Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Cold Harbor, ghosts, spirit energy and black vultures

      2nd Connecticut Heavies suffered more than 300 casualties here on June. 1, 1864. 

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Now I’m highly suspect of battlefield ghost stories, but open to the concept of spirit energy. During my first visit years ago to Cold Harbor (May 31-June 12, 1864), the killing ground in Virginia, the hair on my arms and neck stood straight up on ground where the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery suffered dozens of losses. The place felt eerie then and has during each subsequent visit. 

As darkness settled over Cold Harbor a decade or more ago, I met a local couple walking their large dog. They said they often walk the battlefield.

Remains of Cold Harbor trench.

“This was an awfully bloody place," the man said.

The woman nodded and then glanced at their dog.

“He often goes into the woods," she said, "to chase the ghosts."

The story about the ugly birds gets me most.

“Black against the pale hot sky they drifted into sight by ones and twos, floating high above the overgrown creek bottoms and zigzag trenches,” Ernest B. Furgurson wrote in “Not War But Murder, his book on Cold Harbor. “Gradually there were dozens of them, wheeling, banking, slowly spiraling lower, slipping down toward the fields so thickly dotted with Union blue.”

In June 1864, the black vultures had come to feast on the dead and wounded. I have lain in the very same fields, staring at the sky.

What an awful place.

SHARE: Have your own spirit energy/ghost stories? E-mail me at Your story could end up in my book, coming soon.

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