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[82]
Cold Harbor is, I think, the only battle I ever fought that I would not fight over again under the circumstances. I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. --General U. S. Grant in his Memoirs.

According to Grant's well-made plans of march, the various corps of the Army of the Potomac set out from the banks of the North Anna on the night of May 26, 1864, at the times and by the routes assigned to them. Early on the morning of May 27th Lee set his force in motion by the Telegraph road and such others as were available, across the Little and South Anna rivers toward Ashland and Atlee's Station on the Virginia Central Railroad.

Thus the armies were stretched like two live wires along the swampy bottom-lands of eastern Virginia, and as they came in contact, here and there along the line, there were the inevitable sputterings of flame and considerable destruction wrought. The advance Federal infantry crossed the Pamunkey, after the cavalry, at Hanoverstown, early on May 28th. The Second Corps was close behind the Sixth; the Fifth was over by noon, while the Ninth, now an integral portion of the Army of the Potomac, passed the river by midnight.

On the 31st General Sheridan reached Cold Harbor, which Meade had ordered him to hold at all hazards. This place, probably named after the old home of some English settler, was not a town but the meeting-place of several roads of great strategic importance to the Federal army. They led not only toward Richmond by the way of the upper Chickahominy bridges, but in the direction of White House Landing, on the Pamunkey River.

Both Lee and Meade had received reenforcements — the

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