"COLD HARBOR NATIONAL CEMETERY" Richmond National Battlefield Park Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
Richmond National Battlefield Park Things to Do: 4 reviews and 10 photos
Several national cemeteries associated with Civil War battlefields are administered by the National Park Service instead of the more normal way through the Veterans Administration. Here at Cold Harbor, for whatever reason, the Veterans Administration holds sway. At first glance, the cemetery - established in 1866 and dedicated in 1871, containing the remains of fallen Federals not only at Cold Harbor, but collected from other battlefields within a 22 mile radius encompassing fighting in both the 1864 Overland Campaign and the 1862 Peninsula Campaign - does not look large enough to hold the 2110 men interred here. In the far back of the cemetery, you will find a large marble sarcophagus which is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Buried in two large adjacent mounds - 568 men in one and 321 in the other - are the remains of 889 men who were collected from the battlefields of Cold Harbor, Mechanicsville, Savage Station and Gaines Mills. There is a particularly gruesome photo from the Brady/Gardiner collection showing workers resting on their wheelbarrows with their macabre contents that they are collecting for reburial. Walking the grounds here sobers you up quickly. Each man representing another piece of a Nation's potential lost forever.
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