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Civil War Sites

Civil War Sites – History in Hanover County, VA


Hanover County Features Five Civil War Battle Sites

Cold Harbor Battlefield

The Battle of Cold Harbor resulted in heavy casualties on both sides.

Hanover County has three National Park sites and two county parks that commemorate battles of the Civil War.

Cold Harbor Battlefield Park ­ The Battle of Cold Harbor was fought May 31 ­ June 12, 1864 as part of General Grant’s strategy to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia. Grant¹s frontal assault was repulsed with heavy casualties and led him to break contact and cross the James River. Location: 5515 Anderson Wright Dr., Mechanicsville, on Route 156 in Old Cold Harbor, less than one mile east of the Watt House and Gaines Mill Battlefield. Open seven days a week, free to the public. For more information call (804) 226-1981.


Gaines’ Mill Battlefield ­ June 27, 1862, Confederate infantry repeatedly assaulted the fortified Union line along Boatswain¹s Creek, about one mile from the mill. By nightfall the opposing armies had suffered more than 15,000 casualties, victims of the heaviest fighting of the Seven Days¹ Battles. Near the Watt House, a restored landmark built about 1835, Union General Fitz-John Porter had established his headquarters at a critical point in the fighting. Also the site of Lee¹s first victory. Location: Off Cold Harbor Road. (Route. 156), Mechanicsville. (804) 226-1981.



Rural Plains Dedication

Virginia Delegate Christopher K. Peace joins NPS and local officials at the dedication of the Totopotomoy Creek battlefield unit at Richmond NBP.

Rural Plains ­ Dating from about 1723, the house stayed continuously in the Shelton family for more than 275 years. Patrick Henry reportedly married Sarah Shelton in its parlor in 1754, and 110 years later, it lay in the center of the U.S. Army¹s position during the Battle of Totopotomoy Creek.

It survived, despite being riddled with Confederate artillery fire. The house and 124 surrounding acres are now preserved by Richmond National Battlefield Park. (804) 226-1981 or


North Anna Battlefield ­ A historic interpretive area explains this Civil War battle, which took place in May 1864. Walking trails and bridges allow visitors to see Confederate trenches, which are regarded by historians as being among the best preserved in the country. A 2.4-mile trail system takes visitors to a high bluff over the North Anna River, a position that Confederate General Robert E. Lee hoped to use to defeat the Union army. The battlefield is open from dawn until dusk. The 80-acre park is located off Verdon Road. (Rt. 684) in Doswell. For more information, call Hanover Parks and Recreation at (804) 365-4695 or visit its website,


Garthright House ­ An 18th century structure standing in the middle of the Cold Harbor Battlefield. After June 3, the Garthright house was behind the line of Wright¹s Federal VI Corps. For 10 days, Union surgeons used the house as a field hospital. Afterward, it became a Confederate hospital. The house is an exterior exhibit only and is not open to the public. Portions of the house date to the early 1700s. Location: Off Cold Harbor Rd., Mechanicsville. (804) 226-1981.



Cracker Barrell Old Country Store – 7367 Bell Creek Road, Mechanicsville, Va 23111. (804) 559-2261. Breakfast. lunch and dinner entrees; American cuisine. Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 6 a.m.-11 p.m.


Riverbound Cafe – 8005 Creighton Parkway, Suite K, Mechanicsville, VA 23111. (804) 559-3663. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun., Lunch and dinner daily. Crab cakes, burgers, specialty sandwiches.


Hanover Tavern & Pub – 13181 Hanover Courthouse Road, Hanover, VA 23069. (804) 537-5050. Brunch Sat.-Sun., lunch Tues.-Fri., dinner Tues.-Sat. Classic Southern cuisine with a modern flair and basic American fare.



Hampton Inn Richmond-Mechanicsville is located off Interstate 295 and is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Richmond. It features an indoor pool, gym and rooms with free Wi-Fi. Guest rooms have a work desk and a coffee maker. Cable TV and ironing facilities are also included. There is a business center and laundry facilities. A continental breakfast is served every morning. The Edgar Allan Poe Museum and Tichmond International Raceway’s NASCAR track are a 15-minute drive from the Hampton Inn Mechanicsville. Cold Harbor Battlefields are 3 miles away. It is located at 7433 Bell Creek Road, VA 23111 Mechanicsville.


Holiday Inn Express Richmond-Mechanicsville is just off Interstate 295. It serves a hot breakfast every morning and features a fitness center and outdoor pool. Free Wi-Fi is offered throughout the hotel. Rooms are decorated in bold, warm colors and have cable TV. They are equipped with a microwave and refrigerator. The front desk and a well-equipped business center are open 24 hours a day. Coin laundry facilities are also available. Downtown Richmond is 10 miles from the Holiday Inn Express Richmond-Mechanicsville. Richmond International Airport is less than a 20-minute drive. It is located at 7441 Bell Creek Road, VA 23111 Mechanicsville


Country Inn & Suites, Hanover County’s newest Hotel, is located off I-95, three miles south of Ashland at Winding Brook. This hotel features a beautiful indoor pool facility. Free Wi-Fi and a daily breakfast are also provided. Cable TV, a microwave and a fridge are found in each colorful room of Country Inn & Suites. A coffee maker and an iron are also included. Guests are welcome to relax in the hot tub or work out in the fitness room. Books can also be borrowed and taken home from the lending library. The morning breakfast buffet includes a rotating list of hot items along with waffles, fresh fruit and sweet rolls. Freshly baked cookies are served every evening.Bass Pro Shops is located within walking distance and downtown Richmond is less than 14 miles away. It is located at 11600 Lakeridge Parkway, VA 23005 Ashland