Here’s Gordon C. Rhea discussing the Battle of Cold Harbor at this year’s anniversary commemoration.
Great presentation. He knows all the details and speaks with no notes at all. Where is he looking during his speech? At his audience. I do not particularly care for speakers who have their noses buried in their notes. As he himself puts it, “I am a story-teller and a historian.” He does make some mistakes such as that Baldy Smith’s men had recently arrived from Richmond. Oops. Liked his analysis of the attack — that Richmond was only 9 miles off and a victory at Cold Harbor would force the fall of Richmond and perhaps end the war — also the importance of a major victory just ahead of the Republican convention. Also that Lee had June 2 to build what may have been the best earthworks for the Confederates of the entire war. And especially his comments on the “pin your names to your coats boys so they can identify you body” and his observations of around 3,500 casualties, which should once and forever put an end to the old “7,000 in thirty minutes,” which has been repeated and repeated and repeated for more than hundred years. Thanks for posting this, Al.
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