Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Brett Schulte.
The Richmond Battle-Fields
The battle-fields around Richmond are quiet meadows now, reclaimed by nature, with few signs of the days of “blood and iron.” At Cold Harbor, Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, and Malvern Hill one sees little of the terrible scenes enacted there twelve and fifteen years ago. In the woods and on the hillsides and river bluffs in the Peninsula, where no attempt has been made to cultivate the land, sloping earthworks are still to be seen; but elsewhere the entrenchments have been leveled. Below Petersburg there are few traces even of such formidable fortifications as Steadman’s, Hell and Damnation. The Crater and the fields around it are owned by Mr. Griffith, who was born close by, and was in Petersburg when the mine was fired. He has built a house near the Crater, and now has his father’s farm under excellent cultivation. The Crater itself has been left almost untouched, and a thick underbrush of peach trees and sprouts has sprung up from the pits thrown away by the soldiers during the siege. The ravine where the dead lay in great heaps on that terrible morning has been brought under the plow year after year, until now only a slight depression in the field can be pointed out. The visitor has to pay twenty-five cents for a glimpse of the Crater and the interior of a shed stocked with battle relics.1
- “The Richmond Battle-Fields.” National Tribune 1 May 1878. 3:3. ↩