Three days of indecisive movements by Union forces… allowed Robert E. Lee’s army to strengthen its positions near Bethesda Church and New Cold Harbor. The delay muted the Federal assaults of June 1-2. The troops in blue knew exactly what awaited them the following day. The carnage of Grant’s Overland campaign had taken its toll.
Jefferson Truitt was one of the Union soldiers… who knew exactly what was going to happen on June 3rd. The all-to-familiar pattern could again be seen; Confederates controlled the thoroughfares to Richmond, and Union troops would try bludgeon them open. War-weary troops began pinning names to their uniform coats for easier identification; many penned one final diary entry- “Killed at Cold Harbor.” Jefferson Truitt, and his regiment, the 62nd PA. were due to leave the service on July 1. He had survived the bloodiest conflicts of the war: Malvern Hill, Antietam, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania… now, with just weeks to serve, he would meet his end near the intersection of Old Church and Walnut Grove roads.