The historic Shelton House at Rural Plains lies at the heart of the Totopotomoy Creek battlefield, where Union and Confederate armies clashed from May 29 to June 1, 1864, prior to the Battle of Cold Harbor. (Read more about the battle.)
Today, Rural Plains is part of Richmond National Battlefield Park and is open to visitors. This is a painting that appears on a park sign in front of the house. It depicts the likely appearance of the house at the time of the battle, along with activities that took place in and around the structure on May 30, 1864, which are described briefly below.