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Nationally acclaimed historian, author Gordon Rhea coming to Kingsport Monday

From staff reports • Mar 10, 2018 at 8:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Nationally acclaimed historian Gordon Rhea will be presenting the “Battle of Cold Harbor” at the Tri-Cities Civil War Round Table program on Monday in the Kingsport Renaissance Center.

Rhea has lectured extensively on topics of military history at the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, at several National Military Parks and at historical societies and civil war roundtables across the country. He has appeared on the History Channel, A&E Channel and Discovery Channel in programs related to American History.

Considered the foremost authority on the Overland Campaign, Rhea has written several books on the subject, including those focusing on the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor, as well as the North Anna River Campaign. He has joined the long list of historians that will be advising on the screenplay and production of the “To Appomattox” miniseries.

The Battle of Cold Harbor, part of the Overland Campaign, was fought from May 31 to June 12, 1864, with the most significant fighting occurring on June 3. It was one of the final battles of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign during the American Civil War and is remembered as one of the bloodiest, most-lopsided battles. Thousands of Union soldiers were killed or wounded in a hopeless frontal assault against the fortified positions of Confederate Robert E. Lee’s army.

Grant would later write in his memoirs, “I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. ... No advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained.”

The program is free to the public and starts at 7 p.m. in room 310 of the Renaissance Center, located at 1200 E. Center Street.

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