Battle of Cold Harbor 1864

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COLD HARBOR, BATTLE OF (3 June 1864). Following failures to smash and outflank Gen. Robert E. Lee at Spotsylvania, Gen. U. S. Grant on 20 May directed the Army of the Potomac southeast on a turning movement, side slipping toward Richmond until the Confederates stood on a six-mile front without reserves, their right on the Chickahominy, their center at Cold Harbor, Virginia. On 3 June Grant ordered a direct drive, 60,000 men on 4,000 yards' frontage. The assault against well-entrenched lines cost 5,600 Union casualties and failed completely. Grant held Lee in position until 12 June, then resumed side slipping and, crossing the James River, threatened Richmond through Petersburg.


Baltz, Louis J. The Battle of Cold Harbor. Lynchburg, Va.: H. E. Howard, 1994.

Trudeau, Noah A. Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor. Boston: Little, Brown, 1989.

ElbridgeColby/a. r.

See alsoCivil War ; Petersburg, Siege of ; Richmond Campaigns ; Spotsylvania Courthouse, Battle of ; Wilderness, Battles of the .

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Cold Harbor, Battle of. See Wilderness to Petersburg Campaign (1864).