We took advantage of the nice weather and the girls being away at Equismartz to visit battlefields. We visited 5.
This is Beaver Dam Creek, the first battle that happened immediately after Lee took over the Army of Northern VA in 1862. It was a resounding Union victory, but they retreated anyway as the Army was split up.
This is Gaine's Mill, only a few miles from Beaver Dam Creek, and the battle here was only a couple of days later. Lee was tryng to push the Federal's away from Richmond. The battle was a tactical draw, but the North retreated again away.
Then we moved on to Cold Harbor, and also jumped forward to the Overland Campaign in 1864. The resident historian says the 7000 casualty number is a Southern myth. It was more like 4000.
The trenches at Cold Harbor are amazingly well preserved, as you can see in the following photos. It's kind of strange to think that 150 years plus 3 months ago thousands and thousands of young men we huddled in these trenches, trying to avoid death.
Then me moved on to Totopotomy Creek Battlefield, a little north of Cold Harbor. The park service just got control of this land in 2011 and there isn't much there. The house was there for the Civil War. The house was there for the Revolutionary war. The Shelton family owned this land from Colonial times to 2011. Patrick Henry married a Shelton, allegedly in the parlor of this house. I thought that was cool.
We ended the day at North Anna Battlefield. Not a whole lot happened here as Grant realized that Lee had a very strong defensive position, so he swung east and continued his march South without getting mixed up in a major battle on land of Lee's choosing. Southern myth holds that North Anna was an ingenious trap set by Lee, and only illness by Lee stopped him from unleashing the attack that would have severely damaged the North. The resident historian calls bullshit on that story.
The resident historian.