• Gaines' Mill battlefield -- Watt House area

    Richmond

    National Battlefield Park Virginia

Touring Cold Harbor Battlefield

Map of existing Cold Harbor battlefield, NPS site.

Cold Harbor Touring Map

National Park Service

STOP 1: VISITOR CENTER
Confederate troops established a defensive position near here following Sheridan's cavalry attack on May 31 and again reformed here after repulsing the Union infantry charge of June 1. The gap between Hoke's and Kershaw's Confederate divisions was about 300 yards farther along the tour road. East of the visitor center, on both sides of Rt. 156, are the fields over which Wright's Federal VI Corps attacked on June 3. From here the Confederate battle line extended north over 4 miles and south across Route 156 for 1.5 miles before anchoring on the Chickahominy River.

STOP 2: CONFEDERATE TURNOUT
These breastworks were dug and manned by troops of Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Anderson's First Corps. On the evening of June 1, Hoke's and Kershaw's men fell back to this final position. On June 3 the left flank of the Union XVIII Corps and the right flank of the VI Corps attacked this site. Ravines to the north and south split the Union attack columns and funneled them into murderous fields of Confederate crossfire.

STOP 3: UNION TURNOUT
Between the turnouts, the battlefield resembles its 1864 appearance - battle lines separated by open pine woods. The earthworks along the wood line mark the high water mark of the June 3 attacks. Being unable to advance or retreat, Union soldiers fell to the ground and dug shallow trenches for cover. As the days passed these works became the main Federal trench line. In this area Union and Confederate soldiers found themselves just 200 yards apart.

STOP 4: ROUTE 156
Known as Cold Harbor Road, Route 156 was the main road between Mechanicsville and Seven Pines. Old Cold Harbor Crossroads, 1/2 mile east of here, was a valuable prize for the Federal army if Grant was to threaten Richmond.

STOP 5: COLD HARBOR NATIONAL CEMETERY
This small cemetery contains the remains of more than 2,000 Union soldiers, over 1,300 of them unknown. Four other National Cemeteries near Richmond - Seven Pines, Glendale, Fort Harrison and Richmond - were created by an act of Congress to honor those Union soldiers who died while in service to their country. Approximately 30,000 Confederate war dead are buried at Oakwood and Hollywood Cemeteries in Richmond.

STOP 6: GARTHRIGHT HOUSE
After June 3 the Garthright house was behind the line of Wright's Federal VI Corps. For ten days Union surgeons used the house as a field hospital. During the battle members of the Garthright family sought shelter in the basement.

Did You Know?

4x4x0t[1][1]

Prior to the war the Tredegar Iron Works was a major producer of rails and locomotives for railroad companies. Wartime demands shifted their focus to cannon production.