Histopolis features a different cemetery, town, county or other place every day on the Place-of-The-Day.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
"Cold Harbor National Cemetery, established in 1866, is located on the site of the Battle of Cold Harbor, a clash that would be General Robert E. Lee's "last great battle in the field," and the only one Union General Ulysses S. Grant would regret. It is one of six Civil War-era cemeteries maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Richmond, Va., area. All these national cemeteries are historically linked to the Union assault on the southern capital: Seven Pines, Richmond, Glendale, City Point and Fort Harrison.
"The 1.4-acre Cold Harbor Cemetery is preserved in a relatively rural context, partly due to neighboring lands that are part of the discontiguous Richmond National Battlefield Park, which is managed by the National Park Service. Across the road is the Garthright house, which served as a Union field hospital from June 3-12, 1864. The Battle of Cold Harbor (or Gaines Hill) occurred in June 1864, although cemetery burials were collected here from a 22-mile area.
"The layout is typical for small, older cemeteries, that of a nearly perfect square with two 10'-wide bisecting paths and a central flagpole. Before, the permanent masonry structures were constructed, the keeper resided in a white "wooden cottage" surrounded by a white picket fence and Osage orange hedge that kept animals from disturbing the graves. Now, the cemetery features a standard masonry Second Empire lodge designed by Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs and a paneled brick enclosure wall. These were both constructed in 1871. By this date, just over $18,000 had been spent on the cemetery.
"In the early 20th century, service structures including tool, well and oil houses were built and rebuilt. Civil Works Administration laborers did much of this construction during the 1930s.
"During the late 19th century, Cold Harbor was designated a third-class cemetery, a rating based on size and activity (by comparison, Richmond National Cemetery was rated first-class). Acquisition of the land by the U.S. government was formally completed in 1870 for $200, but the next year additional border acreage was purchased for about $300. One of the first superintendents at the cemetery, Augustus Barry, is the only Medal of Honor recipient buried here. Cold Harbor National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995."
Note: The first Place-of-the-Day was in September 2010