sketch of Cold Harbor (road) charcoal

cold harbor road

I’ve heard a lot of stories about the Civil War. It’s complicated. You can study it your whole life and still have questions.

I drove around and looked at the battlefields close to Richmond. Seeing the places and reading the signs brought it together in my mind. The Battlefield National Parks signs have great illustrations and photos from the 1860s that show how it looked, and so much information I have to go back and look again.

The war went on longer than expected. Slaves and soldiers built the earthworks because the landscape was wide open fields. The armies could see each other far away but they were out of firing range. They ran out on the field to fight and die. Now it’s mostly woods.

So many died at Cold Harbor they named the stream Bloody Run because it ran red with the blood of the soldiers.


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