How the Cold Battle Harbor Affected Civil War

How the Cold Battle Harbor Affected Civil War


The battle of Cold Harbor took place at Mechanicsville in Virginia. It was battled from May 1864 till June 1864. However, the most significant fight happened in the month of June. It was among the final combats of the Union Lt. Gen Ulysses’ grant’s overland campaign. Furthermore, this battle is remembered because it was the bloodiest of all the battles in American history (Rhea 544). During this battle, many soldiers were brutally wounded and killed, whereby it was an anterior assault versus the exhilarated stations of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s soldiers. Other historian s call the battle as a mindless slaughter, and indeed, it was not a war but a murder that occurred.

The war impacted the civil war in many ways. For instance, it marked the change in the civil war that was taking place in America. Through the devastation and carnage that was experienced in this war, there was a shift in the strategies for battle among the union and Confederate commanders. At the start of the year 1864, the union was still modifying the structures in its command, and indeed, this was a significant aspect in the civil war. Lincoln took a different dimension of approach in catching and destroying the Army in northern Virginia and Robert Lee. This act of Lincoln was triggered by the loss of lives that was witnessed during the Cold Harbor battle.

Grant was left with the option of fighting lee in 1864. This, however, began at the battle of the wilderness. Grant’s side had more than 100,000 against the Confederate army, which had only 62,000 fighters. Grant’s force s battled with lee’s soldiers. In both sides, a lot of causalities were involved (Rhea 544). On May 7, grant pulled away from the tussle and started a surprise move approaching the southern part, and towards Richmond. In the wilderness, Lee’s army had won, but this time, he started playing second fiddle. Grant’s anticipated techniques of imposing a consistent war on the enemy had an impact on the military base that was located Northern Virginia. This led to the decrement of the number of soldiers on the side of lee.

The battle of Cold Harbor had an impact on the American civil war in many ways. This was primarily on the dimension of both the tactics and techniques employed to ensure victory on either side (Rhea 544).


The Effect of Cold Harbor Battle On Technology

  1. New riffles were developed

The barrels of those rifles that were invented had groves on their surfaces. The groves were bored in those rifles so that they could enhance the spinning of the bullet through the gun as the bullet was fired by the operator.

  1. The invention of the min ball. This was made in Illinois at a place called Springfield. For instance, the 0.56 caliber bullet not only killed the soldiers that it came into contact with, but also it was capable of destroying and shattering bones of the soldiers that it came into contact with. Additionally to the shattering by this bullet, it was also easy to keep track of the fired bullet. This had a negative impact on the people, whereby it caused a lot of infection all over the tissues surrounding the part that it came into contact with. Amputation was the only solution to this problem whereby a wound in the stomach was regarded as a severe problem.
  2. Fuses were also developed whereby the commanders of artillery could then adjust the shells in order to explode after short time intervals or the longer intervals gave the commanders diverse methods whereby they killed the approaching troops at a distance.


The tactics

There were numerous formations, in which both sides of the battle applied the standard formation of marching towards the enemy points. There was also a combination of this with new weapons, and this meant that there would be many causalities during that civil war. These defensive positions had the merit in all the wars, apart from the sieges.

The split of the army by lee was evident. For many reasons, Lee felt that he is outnumbered and this prompted him to use the smaller force in order for him to outmaneuver that union at each and every battle that they engaged in. however, Gettysburg and Antietam. Due to the constant warfare, the numbers of his army reduced significantly. This implied that Lee was tasked with the burden of devising a new and useful defensive plan to conquer the enemy. This is because the warfare at Cold Harbor made the numbers on his side reduce by a considerate margin. In addition to that, he needed reserves of forces that could help him to face the great troops of the enemy.

The significant shift in the techniques and tactics of warfare was aiming at building earthworks, for instance, the trenches. This was popular in the First World War. Because of its proven success history, lee often adopted it so that he could get the due advantage during the battle of Cold Harbor.

The forest was used as a cover and the suitable terrain that enhanced the civil wars.

Another impact of the battle of the Cold Harbor is that the confidence was almost broken on the 1st of June, 1864. The union soldiers got hold of the old Cold Harbor in May. However, at the start of June, the Confederate men attacked them, they did not succeed (Beidelman and Catherine 58).  They were therefore sent back with huge losses because of the repetitive carbine and considerably improvement in the power of the combats in the cavalry.

In addition to that, there was a reinforcement in the union, especially among the infant forces. On that day, the union suffered a high cost, for instance, 4000 causalities were recorded. As the evening was approaching, the Federals were able to pierce a weaker seam among the brigades of the confederate. Similarly, the battle at the Cold Harbor was characterized by the massacre of Union troops, and this was during the assault that occurred on June 3, 1864.

Orders for a full-scale assault started taking root, which made them progress towards the army. This was experienced as early as June 2, whereby the officers of Union took a significant concern (Beidelman and Catherine 58). However, neither Grant nor Meade observed the fortified line of the confederate. Moreover, the orders that they had discovered were not specific on the target of the enemy. There was no coordination of the efforts in the various segments of the army. Hence, they were ambushed.



The battle of the Cold Harbor was a sign of the defeat of the forces of the Union during the civil war in America. Indeed, the war had brought many impacts in the way the civil war was conducted. This happened primarily because of the mass killings of the soldiers of the union. For instance, deadly weapons were invented. This is a significant impact on the civil war. It is known that the Cold Harbor battle had disastrous effects that had not been experienced before during the civil war.

It is imperative to note that the war did not actually take place at a harbor at all. The name Cold Harbor was just referring to a tavern at which the two armies fought each other. Additionally, the success of the battle that happened at the Cold Harbor was brought about by many efforts that were evident among the troops. For example, digging of trenches, in the warfare called earth attack, and also the implementation of the weapons that both sides used. Indeed, it was a great happening that saw the civil wars in America take a different dimension.

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