Read's Battalion CSA Artillery
These cannon mark the approximate position of a four-gun battery belonging to the Richmond Fayette Artillery, part of Major J.P.W. Read's Battalion that held strategic * points along the Confederate main line. The battery supported General Alfred Colquitt's Georgia brigade on
June 1, 1864, and participated in the repulse of a Union attack that evening.
On the morning of June 3, Read's gunners were again called to action. Their intense and accurate fire was directed towards the advancing Federal infantry that were part of General U.S. Grant's all out assault against Lee's lines. Lieutenant Eli Nichols of the 8th New York Heavy Artillery recalled the devastation caused by these Confederate artillerists:
"few men fell until we reached within [eighty yards] of the enemy's first line, when they opened upon us with canister [and] grape hurling it into our faces and mowing down our lines as wheat falls before the reaper."
Major John Postell Williamson Read, formerly Chief of Police for Savannah, Georgia commanded nearly 400 officers and men and 16 guns at Cold Harbor. The unit suffered only seven casualties.