Yesterday Michaela and I drove down to the Cold Harbor-Gaines’s Mill battlefields for a little hike. Some of you may find this surprising, but I’ve never been there before. It was a nice day so it seemed like the right thing to do. We walked along the trails for the 1864 battle of Cold Harbor and followed the signs over at Gaines’s Mill for the 1862 battle. I don’t spend time obsessing over troops movements or try to find the exact positions of various units. As long as I have a general sense of what I am looking at than all is well. I have to admit that I was very impressed with the earthworks at Cold Harbor. Some of them are quite well preserved and if you exercise a little imagination you can almost see the men in their positions. I took a bunch of photographs which you can check out over at my flickr page. Unfortunately some of them didn’t turn out well.
Speaking of earthworks I just received my advanced copy of Earl J. Hess’s Trench Warfare Under Grand & Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign (UNC Press, 2007). I assume it’s as good as the first volume. A few summers ago I collected a great deal of archival material for Hess, most of which I assume will be utilized for the third and final volume in this series. The notice has a September 24 release date, but UNC Press usually releases before so keep an eye out.