View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 08:30 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420

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Here I go again:

I do think that truces were more common than we think, but only when the lines are opposing each other. When one side controls the field at the end of the day, then that side is responsible for the care of the wounded and burial of the dead.

This sounds about right to me, now that you've brought it to my attention. At the very least, I feel like I might have heard this was the custom of the era. It feels familiar.

Which brings me to this: If that truly was the custom, and if Lee could claim victory after the battle of Cold Harbor, then wouldn't it be incumbent upon Lee within that custom to be the one to care for the wounded and the burial of the dead? I suspect it's a little more complex than that — both lines remained static after the battle, Lee may have felt like the victor but Grant never gave ground and certainly didn't feel vanquished, and he's still got that nagging 'truce' clause to deal with. I reckon custom simply went out the window here.

...And maybe it had something to do with the tree cover that currently obscures the site, but I had always imagined the Confederate position to be more elevated than it appears to be.

Been there several times but not recently. I was always disappointed by the trees that forested the area and tried to imagine the present-day battlefield without them. I never had a sense of elevation, though, and certainly not like you do at Malvern Hill.

The Cold Harbor front was seven miles long, but I've only been to the tiny area the NPS opens to the general public. Do you know if the rest of the battlefield is accessible? Seems to me I encountered NPS signs telling me 'Do not go beyond this point.' Maybe it's private property, I don't know.

And there sure is a ton of development going on encroaching on all the Richmond battlefields. Scary.

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