Total War: March to September 1864

Disaster at Cold Harbor

Where is Cold Harbor?

Located about twelve miles northeast of Richmond, Cold Harbor is an undulating series of flatlands mixed with low hills. It was, and is, typical Virginia countryside: delightful in spring and fall and murderous in summer by virtue of the heat. By the end of May 1864, Lee had concentrated his men in a defensive position in and around Cold Harbor with ditches that ran for miles (not for nothing had he been called the “King of Spades”). Grant brought the full Army of the Potomac into position, and for a day or two the armies merely glowered at one another. Then, on June 3, 1864, Grant ordered an attack all along the line.


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