"Gaines Mill and Cold Harbor" Mechanicsville Things to Do Tip by b1bob

Mechanicsville Things to Do: 4 reviews and 8 photos

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  • battlefield - Mechanicsville
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  • Watt House - Mechanicsville
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Gaines' Mill

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.

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  • Updated Oct 23, 2007
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