Mechanicsville Things to Do Tips by b1bob
Mechanicsville Things to Do: 4 reviews and 8 photos
On 27 June 1862 Union and Confederate soldiers fought the Seven Days' Battle. In one day 15,000 men were killed, wounded or captured. The historic Watt House still stands and served as Union General Fitz John Porter's headquarters. (I attended Battlefield Park Elementary school with this girl whose daddy was a ranger overseeing the Watt House.) There is a trail along Boatswain Creek past the site where Hood's Texas Brigade broke through the line and helped force the collapse of the Union position. Along the trail are historic markers, a monument to General Wilcox's Alabama brigade and a battlefield overlook that reveals a landscape little changed since the battle.
Cold Harbor Battlefield and Visitor Center
Cold Harbor is the best known battlefield in the park. For two weeks, 31 May-12 June 1864, the armies of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant tangled in a complicated series of actions. A determined Confederate defence turned away a massive Federal attack on 3 June and helped convince Grant to maneuver south and advance on Petersburg. The visitor center includes an electric map program for Cold Harbor and Gaines' Mill, exhibits, and a small bookstore. A one-mile drive parallels and crosses significant stretches of both the Confederate and Union entrenchments, all of which are original to 1864.
The historic home is believed to back to the 18th century. The house served as a hospital in Gaines Mill and Cold Harbor. Although it is not open to the public, there are exterior exhibits. Directly beside the house is the Hanover County Cold Harbor Park, which includes a walking trail through some of the reserve Union positions from the 1864 battle, and a picnic area.
The Cold Harbor National Cemetery across the street from Garthright House contains nearly 2000 burials from the War Between the States, including most of the Union dead from the two large area battles. There are monuments there to Pennsylvania and New York soldiers, as well.
36th Infanty Memorial Marker
This monument was erected by Charles Storke who was a veteran of the War Between the States at the Second Battle of Cold Harbor in 1864 to commemorate the 36th Wisconsin (needless to say union) Volunteer Infantry. Storke survived the losing battle, but he was a prisoner of war sent to Andersonville, South Carolina for the rest of the war. After the war, he went to university and moved west to found a newspaper. Many years later, he came back east to visit battlefields. He bought some land on which he built this monument in 1924. The monument listed all those from this infantry unit who were killed, wounded, or captured.
Directions: On Pole Green Road between the produce stand and Pole Green Elementary School.
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