American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Cold Harbor
On May 31, Phil Sheridan’s cavalry seized the vital crossroads of Old Cold Harbor, just nine miles from Richmond. Early on June 1, relying heavily on their new repeating carbines and shallow entrenchments, Sheridan’s troopers threw back an attack by Confederate infantry from Richard H. Anderson’s First Corps. Confederate reinforcements arrived from Richmond and Totopotomoy Creek. On the morning of June 1, the Union VI Corps under Horatio Wright arrived, followed that afternoon by the XVIII Corps under William F. “Baldy” Smith, called up from Benjamin Butler’s army at Bermuda Hundred. Wright and Smith took all day to get into position and finally attacked around 6:00 pm. A brief penetration was obtained by the VI Corps brigade of Col. William S. Truex but was forced back. Union reinforcements from Warren’s V Corps arrived that evening and stretched the Union position northwestward, Warren was attacked around 7:00 pm near Bethesda Church.