Thursday, May 31, 2007


This Day in the Short History of U. S. Grant Disasters

On this day in 1864, the two week Battle of Cold Harbor began on an old battle site of the Seven Days in 1862. This is my favorite battle of the Civil War. Lee had time to prepare defenses. Grant ordered a frontal assault anyway. Many of the Confederates were fairly safe in trenches behind a forward berm topped with a head log and they fired through the space between the log and the berm. Other soldiers loaded weapons behind them so they could keep a steady stream of well aimed rifle fire at the Yankees trotting towards them. During the centennial years in the early '60s, there was a big Civil War museum in Richmond and one of the things on display from this battle was a big tree stump with a conical top, the tree above having been felled with rifle fire. I was taught that at Cold Harbor the Army of Northern Virginia inflicted more casualties on the Norther troops than there were men in the Southern Army. That's not quite true, but it's close.


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