This Week in the Civil War - #843
On June 1, 1864, Grant’s forces moved south to the Cold Harbor area of Virginia and found Confederate forces had once again beaten them into position. For the next three days Union and Confederate forces maneuvered for position. Despite the Union’s numerical superiority, Lee had received reinforcements from the Shenandoah Valley and southern Virginia; he used these troops well, entrenching his Army of Northern Virginia. Grant intended to assault the Confederate line on June 2, but logistical problems forced a delay until the morning of June 3. Knowing that many would die the next day in a frontal assault against entrenched Confederate forces, veteran Union troops fashioned crude “dog tags” or sewed their names onto their uniforms so that their bodies could be properly identified and buried after their deaths.