From May 31-June 12, 1864, more than 160,000 men clashed at Cold Harbor, Virginia, during the Wilderness Campaign. The 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 36th Wisconsin Infantry regiments took part. On June 2, the 5th Infantry began 10 days constantly exposed to enemy fire in shallow trenches they dug with their bayonets and tin dinner plates. The Iron Brigade regiments, in contrast, were strongly entrenched. "We can not show our heads above the works without being immediately shot at," wrote Col. Rufus Dawes. "The men try putting hats on ramrods and sticking them up and sometimes get a bullet through the hat."