Battle of Cold Harbor Timeline

Thomas' Legion
American Civil War HOMEPAGE
American Civil War
Causes of the Civil War : What Caused the Civil War
Organization of Union and Confederate Armies: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery
Civil War Navy: Union Navy and Confederate Navy
American Civil War: The Soldier's Life
Civil War Turning Points
American Civil War: Casualties, Battles and Battlefields
Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
Civil War Generals
American Civil War Desertion and Deserters: Union and Confederate
Civil War Prisoner of War: Union and Confederate Prison History
Civil War Reconstruction Era and Aftermath
American Civil War Genealogy and Research
Civil War
American Civil War Pictures - Photographs
African Americans and American Civil War History
American Civil War Store
American Civil War Polls
North Carolina Civil War History
North Carolina American Civil War Statistics, Battles, History
North Carolina Civil War History and Battles
North Carolina Civil War Regiments and Battles
North Carolina Coast: American Civil War
Western North Carolina and the American Civil War
Western North Carolina: Civil War Troops, Regiments, Units
North Carolina: American Civil War Photos
Cherokee Chief William Holland Thomas
Cherokee Indian Heritage, History, Culture, Customs, Ceremonies, and Religion
Cherokee Indians: American Civil War
History of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation
Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and Beliefs
Researching your Cherokee Heritage
Civil War Diary, Memoirs, Letters, and Newspapers

Battle of Cold Harbor Timeline

Battle of Cold Harbor: May 31 - June 12, 1864

Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River, Va.
MAY 4 - JUNE 12, 1864



May 4, 1864

Advance of the Army of the Potomac, Skirmish near Chancellorsville

May 5- 7, 1864

Battle of the Wilderness (including combats at Parker's Store, Craig's Meeting-House, the Brock Road, Todd's Tavern, the Furnaces, &c)

May 7, 1864

Maj Gen  Richard H  Anderson, C  S  Army, assigned to command of the First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

May 8, 1864

Maj  Gen   Jubal A  Early, C  S  Army, assigned to command of the Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

May 8-21, 1864

Operations about Spotsylvania Court-House (including combats at Todd's Tavern, Corbin's Bridge, Alsop's Farm, and Laurel Hill (8th); the Ny River and the Po River (10th); the Angle or the Salient (12th); Piney Branch Church (15th); Harris' Farm (19th); Stanard's Mill and Guiney's Station (21st), &c)

May 9, 1864

Brig  Gen   Horatio G Wright, U S  Army, assumes command of the Sixth Army Corps

May 9-24, 1864

Sheridan's expedition from Todd's Tavern to the James River (including combats at Davenport (9th); Beaver Dam Station, North Anna, and Davenport Ford (9th and 10th); Ground Squirrel Bridge or Church, Glen Allen Station, Ashland, and Yellow Tavern (11th); Meadow Bridges, Mechanicsville, Strawberry Hill, Brook Church or Richmond Fortifications (12th); and skirmishes en route at Mattapony Church, Jones' Bridge, Haxall's, White House Landing, Hanover Court-House, &c)

May 22-June 1, 1864

Operations on the line of the North Anna, the Pamunkey, and the Totopotomoy Rivers (including combats at Quarles' Mills, Ox Ford, and Jericho Bridge, or Ford, or Mills, on the North Anna (May 23-26); Hanover Junction, Sexton's Station, Mount Carmel Church, Dabney's Ferry, Hanovertown, Little River, Pole Cat Creek, and Salem Church (May 27); Aenon Church, Jones' Farm, Crump's Creek, and Haw's Shop (May 28); Totopotomoy River (May 28-31); Matadequin Creek, Old Church, Shady Grove, and Armstrong's Farm (May 30); Mechump's Creek, Shallow Creek, Turner's Farm, and Bethesda Church (May 31); Ashland (June 1), &c)

May 24, 1864

The Ninth Army Corps assigned to the Army of the Potomac

May 29, 1864

Maj Gen  Jubal A   Early, C  S  Army, assigned to command of the Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

May 31-June 12, 1864

Operations at and about Cold Harbor

June 3, 1864

Action at Haw's Shop, Skirmish near Via's House

June 7-24, 1864

The Trevilian Raid (including combats at Trevilian Station and Newark or Mallory's Cross-Roads (11th and 12th); King and Queen Court-House (18th and 20th); White House or Saint Peter's Church, and Black Creek or Tunstall's Station (21st); Jones' Bridge (23d); and Saint Mary's Church (24th), &c)

June 10, 1864

Skirmish at Old Church

June 12, 1864

Action at Long Bridge, Skirmish at White House Landing

*Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

Recommended Reading: Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26-June 3, 1864, by Gordon C. Rhea (Hardcover). Description: In his gripping volume on the spring 1864 Overland campaign--which pitted Ulysses S. Grant against Robert E. Lee for the first time in the Civil War--Gordon Rhea vividly re-creates the battles and maneuvers from the North Anna stalemate through the Cold Harbor offensive. Rhea's tenacious research elicits stunning new facts from the records of a phase oddly ignored or mythologized by historians. The Cold Harbor of these pages differs sharply from the Cold Harbor of popular lore. We see Grant, in one of his most brilliant moves, pull his army across the North Anna River and steal a march on Lee. In response, Lee sets up a strong defensive line along Totopotomoy Creek, and the battles spark across woods and fields northeast of Richmond. Continued below…

Their back to the Chickahominy River and on their last legs, the rebel troops defiantly face an army-wide assault ordered by Grant that extends over three hellish days. Rhea gives a surprising new interpretation of the famous battle that left seven thousand Union casualties and only fifteen hundred Confederate dead or wounded. Here, Grant is not a callous butcher, and Lee does not wage a perfect fight. Every imaginable primary source has been exhausted to unravel the strategies, mistakes, gambles, and problems with subordinates that preoccupied two exquisitely matched minds. In COLD HARBOR, Rhea separates fact from fiction in a charged, evocative narrative. He leaves readers under a moonless sky, Grant pondering the eastward course of the James River fifteen miles south of the encamped armies. About the Author: Gordon Rhea is the author of three previous books, a winner of the Fletcher Pratt Literary Award, a frequent lecturer throughout the country on military history, and a practicing attorney.

Site search Web search

Recommended Reading: Not War But Murder: Cold Harbor 1864. Library Journal: On June 3, 1864, the Union Second, Sixth, and Eighteenth Corps assaulted Confederate breastworks at Cold Harbor outside Richmond, VA. The resulting bloodbath amounted to U.S. Grant's worst defeat and "Bobby" Lee's final great victory. In his latest book, native Virginian and Baltimore Sun correspondent Furgurson (Chancellorsville, 1863) vividly retells the well-known story of how the friction between Grant and his insecure direct subordinate, George Meade, poisoned the Army of the Potomac's whole chain of command. Continued below…

By contrast, he depicts Lee as a commander beset by poor health and impossible logistical problems who brilliantly deployed his meager forces and soundly thrashed his overconfident adversary, thereby saving the rebel capital and extending an unwinnable war by nearly a year. The book is rich in word pictures and engaging anecdotes. Furgurson considers the wounded that were left to suffer with the dead between the lines while Lee and Grant quibble over protocols of recovery; the disastrous affect of poor maps and impassable terrain on the Federal assault; and Grant's immediate need to bring Lincoln a battlefield victory before the 1864 presidential election. Furgurson's contribution is his evocative retelling of a great American military tragedy.


Recommended Reading: Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864, by Noah Andre Trudeau. Description: "Nobody has brought together in one volume so many eyewitness accounts from both sides."-Civil War History Winner of the Fletcher Pratt Award. In this authoritative chronicle of the great 1864 Overland Campaign in Virginia, Noah Andre Trudeau vividly re-creates the brutal forty days that marked the beginning of the end of the Civil War. In riveting detail Trudeau traces the carnage from the initial battles in Virginia's Wilderness to the gruesome hand-to-hand combat at Spotsylvania's "Bloody Angle," to the ingenious trap laid by Lee at the North Anna River, to the killing ground of Cold Harbor. Through fascinating eyewitness accounts, he relates the human stories behind this epic saga. Continued below…

Common soldiers struggle to find the words to describe the agony of their comrades, incredible tales of individual valor, their own mortality. Also recounting their experiences are the women who nursed these soldiers and black troops who were getting their first taste of battle. The raw vitality of battle sketches by Edwin Forbes and Alfred R. Waud complement the words of the participants. PRAISE FOR THE BOOK: "Bloody Roads South is a powerful and eloquent narrative of the costliest, most violent campaign of the Civil War. Grant vs. Lee in the Wilderness, at Spotsylvania, and at Cold Harbor has never been told better."-Stephen W. Sears, author of The Landscape Turned Red. About the Author: Noah Andre Trudeau is an executive producer for cultural programs at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Out of the Storm: The End of the Civil War, April-June 1865 and The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865.


Recommended Reading: Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign (Civil War America) (Hardcover) (The University of North Carolina Press) (September 5, 2007). Description: In the study of field fortifications in the Civil War that began with Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War, Hess turns to the 1864 Overland campaign to cover battles from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor. Continued below...

Drawing on meticulous research in primary sources and careful examination of trench remnants at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Bermuda Hundred, Hess describes Union and Confederate earthworks and how Grant and Lee used them in this new era of field entrenchments.


Recommended Reading: Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864 (Civil War America) (Hardcover). Description: The eastern campaigns of the Civil War involved the widespread use of field fortifications, from Big Bethel and the Peninsula to Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Charleston, and Mine Run. While many of these fortifications were meant to last only as long as the battle, Earl J. Hess argues that their history is deeply significant. The Civil War saw more use of fieldworks than did any previous conflict in Western history. Hess studies the use of fortifications by tracing the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia from April 1861 to April 1864. Continued below... 

He considers the role of field fortifications in the defense of cities, river crossings, and railroads and in numerous battles. Blending technical aspects of construction with operational history, Hess demonstrates the crucial role these earthworks played in the success or failure of field armies. He also argues that the development of trench warfare in 1864 resulted from the shock of battle and the continued presence of the enemy within striking distance, not simply from the use of the rifle-musket, as historians have previously asserted. Based on fieldwork at 300 battle sites and extensive research in official reports, letters, diaries, and archaeological studies, this book should become an indispensable reference for Civil War historians.


Recommended Reading: The Battlefield of Cold Harbor, Hanover County, Virginia, 1864 (Map). Review: The site of Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia's last Civil War Victory is one of astonishment, battlefield courage, and horrific carnage… This work includes the most complete, accurate and detailed maps of the battle of Cold Harbor ever published. Watercolor and colored pencil map showing farms, mills, entrenchments, watercourses, woods, fields and residences are all meticulously detailed and scaled to perfection. Continued below...

The reverse side includes an account of Union mapping at Cold Harbor; full color reproduction of the Army of the Potomac’s Overland Campaign theater map; and photographs of two prominent Union topographical engineers, W. H. Paine and W.A. Roebling. A welcome addition to every Civil War buff’s library as well as the individual that appreciates detailed topographical maps. FIVE STARS.


Return to American Civil War Homepage

Best viewed with Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, pub-2111954512596717, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0