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THE BATTLE OF COLD HARBOR The battle of Cold Harbor or also known as The Second Cold Harbor is described as one of the bloodiest military combats of the American Civil War It was a thirteen-day battle and was fought between May 31st June 12th 1864 at Cold Harbor Virginia northeast of Richmond This battle was a continuity of the Grants Overland Campaign which was from May to June in 1864 The Battle of Cold Harbor basically began when the Union Army of the Potomac under General Ulysses S Grant and Maj Gen George G Meade attacked the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E Lee The total Forces Engaged was 170000 the Union Army having 108000 men and the Confederate army having 62000 men On the afternoon of May 31st one of Grants men Major General Philip Sheridans cavalry seized the fundamental crossroads of Old Cold Harbor Lee wished to retake Old Cold Harbor Early on June 1st he sent Major General Joseph Kershaws division to join Hoke in a morning assault The effort was short and uncoordinated Hoke failed to press the attack and Sheridans troops easily repelled the assault Confederate reserves arrived from Richmond and from the Totopotomoy Creek lines Late on June 1st Major General Horatio Wrights VI corps and Major General William Smiths XVIII Corps reached Cold Harbor and attacked the Confederate works with some success Grant feeling insecure ordered Major General Winfield Hancocks II Corps to march to the left of the VI Corps at five in the morning on June 2nd Later in the day both forces were on the field forming on a seven-mile front that extended from Bethesda Church to the Chickahominy River At dawn on June 3rd Grant ordered a frontal assault on the unbeatable position of Cold Harbor Following their Generals orders the Union Soldiers advanced and in a couple of minutes about seven
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