Cold Harbor

Cold Harbor - 7th New York Heavy Artillery
Library of Congress

Cold Harbor

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After several days of inconclusive fighting along Totopotomoy Creek and Bethesda Church northeast of Richmond, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee turned their sights on the crossroads of Cold Harbor. Roads emanating through this critical junction led to the Confederate supply depot and Grant's supply base on the Pamunkey River. On May 31st, 1864, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan’s cavalry captured Cold Harbor. The next day, Sheridan was able to hold the crossroads against a Confederate onslaught. With reinforcements from both armies pouring onto the field, Grant launched an assault on the evening of June 1 with the Sixth and Eighteenth Corps. The Union infantry gained ground during the attack which emboldened Grant to launch another assault two days later. At dawn on June 3rd, elements from the Union Second, Sixth and Eighteenth Corps, followed later by the Fifth and Ninth Corps, only to be repulsed Lee's infantry. Unable to destroy Lee in the previous engagements of the Wilderness, Spotyslvania Courthouse and at the North Anna River, Grant decided to disengage and move on the Confederate rail center of Petersburg in the middle of June. 

Battle Facts

Result

Confederate Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
170,000

Union

108,000

Confederate

62,000
Total Estimated Casualties
17,332

Union

12,737
1,844
killed
9,077
wounded
1,816
missing & captured

Confederate

4,595
83
killed
3,380
wounded
1,132
missing & captured