Symposium Spotlight: The Battle of Cold Harbor

Welcome back to our spotlight series, highlighting speakers and topics for our upcoming symposium. Over the coming weeks, we will continue previewing of our speaker’s presentations for the 2024 Emerging Civil War Symposium. This week we feature Daniel T. Davis’s topic.

Hurricane from the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor

Throughout May 1864, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee slugged it out across central Virginia. Stalled along the North Anna River, Grant decided to turn Lee’s right flank and head for the Pamunkey River. Lee countered and as May faded into June, the two armies clashed at Haw’s Shop, Totopotomoy Creek, Bethesda Church and Matadequin Creek, all the while on a collision course for a dusty road junction east of Richmond. On May 31, 1864, a cavalry clash erupted near a crossroads east of the Confederate capitol, Cold Harbor. The fighting drew the attention of both commanders and soon each were rushing reinforcements to take control of the junction which resulted in some of the most famous combat of the American Civil War.

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