North Anna to Cold Harbor Tour / 21union

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Union Position - Cold Harbor 1864

" The night before, Union soldiers wrote their names on scraps of paper fastened to their clothing, hoping to be identified after the battle.

At 4:30 a.m. they are ordered to attack the Confederate earthworks clearly visible across the open field. Most of the dying is over in thirty minutes. Unable to advance or retreat, the surviving Federals use spoons, forks, or bayonets to dig in where they lie, beneath a waist high ceiling of fire.

Afterward the Union Army built the more elaborate entrenchments behind you. Ten days later, in secrecy, Grant abandoned the position to march on Petersburg. "

(Text of Sign at Cold Harbor )