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[154]

Chapter 13: Cold Harbor

  • Charge of 2nd Conn.
  • -- withdrawal -- shriek of wounded man


Cold Harbor is one of the points near Richmond which General McClellan reached during the Peninsular campaign and from which he was compelled to retire at the beginning of his retreat to Harrison's Landing on the James.

It is situated about directly northeast of Richmond, and almost within sight of the city. General Lee having correctly interpreted the design of General Grant, had transferred his army to this point and was found occupying works advantageously located and very strongly constructed.

The Sixth Corps arrived at Cold Harbor about noon of the 30th and at 5 o'clock in the afternoon was formed in line of battle, on the left of the Third division and the 121st were deployed in close order as skirmishers, and relieved the cavalry skirmishers, who had suffered quite heavily.

Let Beckwith tell the rest.

Word was sent along the line that the enemy's line was in the farther edge of the old field-pine thicket in our front, and that we should charge this line on the dead run as soon as we got into striking distance and run the Rebs into their rifle pits. This we did. They broke as soon as they saw us begin to charge and we kept them on a dead run until they reached their works. We continued firing at anything in sight on the pits, and also shot the battery horses as they galloped up with the Reb guns going into position. Lying down we were screened from sight by the clumps of scrubby pine

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McClellan (1)
G. W. C. Lee (1)
Grant (1)
Clinton Beckwith (1)
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