Acquiring a sense of time and place to understand Cold Harbor is essential in understanding a battle site. These initial assignments help provide this. Some will require minor additional research.
When did the Civil War begin and end?
Draw a timeline from May 1864 through April 1865 in Virginia and note how the following places were associated with the latter part of the Civil War. Include month, day, year and historical significance: Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Richmond, Appomattox.
Draw a map showing the following Civil War sites in 1864-1865: Fredericksburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, Cold Harbor, City Point, Richmond, Petersburg, and Appomattox.
Include the following rivers on your map: Rappahannock, Mattapony, Pamunky, York, Chickahominy, Totopotomoy Creek, and the James.
Indicate the route of the Army of the Potomac using an arrow.
Brainstorm why Grant decided to cross the James River and go to Petersburg after failing to end Lee's control of Richmond during the battle of Cold Harbor.
Maps: June 1, June 2, June 3
Which Union corps was not shown on the June 1 map near Old Cold Harbor: Smith's, Wright's, or Hancock's?
What was the approximate mileage of Confederate works shown on the June 1 map?
On the June 2 map, where were Smith, Wright, and Hancock located in relation to Totopotamoy Creek and the Chickahominy River? Describe by drawing a small map. Include Old and New Cold Harbor.
On the June 3 map, compare the Union and Confederate works.
Calculate how many miles Union Generals Meade and Grant and Confederate General R.E. Lee were located from their side's works on the June 3 map.
Hypothesize why the military leaders were located where they were.
Use the June 1, 2, and 3 maps to compare the condition of the Union and Confederate works.
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Who drew this map?
What regiment did he belong to?
What does "A A B B" stand for on the map?
What road did the 6th and 18th corps come in on?
Describe "White House Landing" in relation to the Cold Harbor intersection.
When were these plans made?
Speculate the problems the mapmaker may have had in rendering an accurate map.
What corps was Hancock reporting on?
For which time period?
When was this report dated?
Name three difficulties the soldiers encountered the night of June 1-2 on their way to Cold Harbor.
When and in what condition were Hancock's soldiers when the reached their destination?
How many Union casualties were there in one hour of action?
Sequence the orders Hancock's received on the first days of June.
Address the cause(s) for Hancock's delay in reaching Cold Harbor. What were the results?
Did General Hancock consider Cold Harbor to be a failure or success for his corps? Support with specifics.
At 6 a.m. on June 3, 1864, in Hancock's report to Meade, did Hancock appear confident that his men would succeed in their mission? Explain.
How does Meade respond to Hancock thirty-five minutes later?
Analyze Grant and Meade's correspondence between 7 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. on June 3, 1864 about what Hancock should do.
Compare Grant's June 3, 2 pm, letter to Hancock's report (above). What conclusion would you draw about how the discrepancy shaped policy?
Use Grant's June 5, 1864 letter to Halleck to answer:
What did Grant conclude about remaining in Cold Harbor?
What was Grant's strategy up to this point?
What was Grant's conclusion about why his strategy did not work?
Explain what Grant's new strategy would be.
How did Grant's assessment of the Cold Harbor campaign change between June 3 and June 5?
Based on what happened in Cold Harbor, explain why Grant's strategy changed.
Was this report from a Union or Confederate perspective?
Describe the battlefield as Michler saw it on June 3, 1864.
According to Michler, why did neither side choose to take any more offensive action on June 3.
What had happened to the Union army at Cold Harbor since June 3, 1864?
Summarize Meade's main point in the letter to his wife on June 5, 1864.
Based on the evidence, forecast what Meade and Grant saw as the best Union strategy for future battles.
In the letter dated June 2, 1864, what does Lee know about enemy intentions?
In the letter dated June 3, 1864, 8:45 p.m., what is reported about the pre-dawn attack and how the Confederates fared?
Was this a Confederate or Union report?
Use the charts to compare how the second corps and ninth corps impacted by their medical organization for the June 3 battle?
What medical impact did the events of the past month have on the health of these soldiers?
What was McCullough sent out to "throw up" on June 1?
Generalize what the weather is typically like in early June in Virginia based on McCullough's reports.
Sequence McCullough's June 2 odyssey.
Despite being wounded, how did McCullough receive satisfaction on June 3?
Generalize how soldiers were treated medically based on McCullough's experience.
Was McCullough loyal to the Confederate cause? Prove your answer citing evidence in the letters.
Analyze what McCullough says about the combat experience.
Was Clark a Confederate or Union soldier? Support with specific clues from the diary account.
Explain how and why fortifications were built on June 1.
How were the fortifications used on June 2?
Describe a typical day in the life of an ordinary soldier in June 1864 using evidence from Clark's diary.