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Contact: Andrea DeKoter, 804-226-5023
Over two weeks in the spring of 1864, Confederate and Union forces engaged in one of the largest battles of the Civil War 10 miles outside Richmond at a rural crossroads known as Cold Harbor. On Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5, Richmond National Battlefield Park invites the public to experience the story of an epic battle that resulted in over 18,000 casualties. Throughout the weekend, park rangers and living history volunteers will offer a variety of free programs at Cold Harbor battlefield, including ranger-led tours and firing demonstrations.
Programs will explore the Battle of Cold Harbor, how it unfolded, and its impact on the soldiers and civilians whose lives were forever changed by it. Ranger-led tours will take place on Saturday, June 4 at 10 am ("Commemorating Cold Harbor" - tour meets at Cold Harbor Visitor Center) and noon ("June 1 at Cold Harbor" - tour meets at Cold Harbor Visitor Center), and on Sunday, June 5, at 10 am and 3 pm ("Grant's Greatest Regret" - stop at Cold Harbor Visitor Center for directions). Artillery firing demonstrations will be held at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm on Saturday and 11 am and 1 pm on Sunday. Kids can participate in a scavenger hunt and complete a Junior Ranger booklet to earn a limited-edition badge commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
Highlighting the event is the park's popular candlelight tour of the battlefield on Saturday evening. Starting at 8 pm, visitors can pick up free tickets for the tours and enjoy the Civil War-era harmonies of the band Southern Horizon. Candlelight tours begin at 8:30 pm. Tickets for the tours are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is available at the Cold Harbor Battlefield Visitor Center, 5515 Anderson Wright Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111. Visitors are advised to wear weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes for walking.
"We invite everyone to join us in reflecting on the sacrifices made on the battlefields and the work that has been done to preserve this special place," said Richmond National Battlefield Park Superintendent David Ruth.
For more information, please contact the Richmond National Battlefield Park at (804) 226-1981, or visit us online at www.nps.gov/rich or www.Facebook.com/RichmondNPS.