Lead: At Cold Harbor in summer 1864, the Federal Army of the Potomac under Ulysses S. Grant threw itself against almost impregnable Confederate lines. It was a terrible mistake.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Grant was newly installed as Chief General of the Federal Armies and as the campaigning season opened in 1864 he accompanied the Army of the Potomac, which was officially lead by George Meade. No one doubted, however, that it was Grant who was in charge and driving the Army before him. It was a well-trod path. Over and over in the previous three years Federal armies had crossed into Virginia to engage the Confederates with the intent to defeat them and take Richmond. Each time Robert E. Lee, with clever tactics, more highly skilled subordinates, grimly determined troops, and the artful use of maneuver, cavalry and artillery had taken the measure of the Yankees and beat them regularly. The Federals would then retreat, lick their wounds, regroup, and under another commander, President Lincoln having replaced the previous one, would have at it again, with the same result.