By GREG GLASSNER
Dixie Days drew a large crowd of history buffs and the just curious to Pole Green Park Saturday and Sunday, to witness reenactments of the Battle of Shady Grove Road, which was a prelude to the Battle of Cold Harbor.
The event was held this year without the sponsorship of Hanover County Parks and Recreation, which withdrew after scattered complaints last year that the event provided too much of a Southern perspective of Civil War history.
Although the loss of sponsorship meant the host Edmund Ruffin Fire-Eaters Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 3000 incurred some extra expense, the 2006 event was a successful one.
A large crowd of spectators turned out Saturday to gain added insights into 19th Century history and witness the battle reenac tment.
Dixie Days also provided a numbeer of living history displays, "Meet the Generals," lectures, featured authors and music.
On Sunday, National Parks’ Civil War historian Bob Krick spoke on the Battle of Cold Harbor.
Although the Union reenactors were outnumbered by the Confederate home team, they put up stiff resistence before being overpowered.
The original 1864 battle’s results were inconclusive, according to historians, with both sides sustaining about 1,100 casualties.
The operations along Totopotomy Creek led to the June 1-12 Battle of Cold Harbor, where Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Union troops faced Robert E. Lee’s Confederates along a seven-mile front.
At Cold Harbor, about 108,000 Union troops faced 62,000 Confederate troops. The Union sustained 13,000 casualties and the CSA 2,500.
In his memoirs, Grant commented that it was the only attack he wished he had never ordered. Lee’s well-planned defense of the eastern approaches of Richmond forced Grant to shift his troops South to Petersburg.
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