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Near Chancellorsville in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Union Center
The Battle of Chancellorsville
 
The Union Center Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
1. The Union Center Marker
 
Inscription. Upon reaching Chancellorsville on April 30, 1863, General Joseph Hooker deployed the Army of the Potomac in a defensive perimeter around the intersection. General Henry W. Slocum's Twelfth Corps held the center of the Union line. For three days his troops entrenched, creating a sturdy earthwork screened by the line of fallen trees known as an abatis. The trench in front of you is a remnant of that fortified line.

At first the Confederates did not test Slocum's position, but on May 3 Lee ordered a general assault. While Virginians led by General William Mahone attacked these works in front, Confederate artillery on the Orange Plank Road and at Hazel Grove sent shells screeching into Slocum's line from the rear. The Twelfth Corps gamely held its ground, but as the hours passed, its supply of ammunition ran low. At 9 a.m., Slocum ordered a retreat.

"During the night, [I] received instructions to fell the timber in front for the purpose of forming an abatis, which was improved on afterward by the men building a breastwork, and throwing the dirt up with bayonets, swords, tin plates, and many using nothing but their hands, completing an intrenchment which resisted repeated attacks of the enemy in front."
Colonel Charles Candy, Twelfth Corps
 
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
 
Close Up of the Battle Map Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
2. Close Up of the Battle Map
The north seeking arrow points to the lower right of the marker.
 
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Location. 38° 18.162′ N, 77° 38.468′ W. Marker is near Chancellorsville, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is on Slocum Drive, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located at stop seven, Slocum's Line, on the driving tour of the Chancellorsville Battlefield, in Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The 27th Indiana Infantry (approx. 0.3 miles away); Chancellor Cemetery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Chancellorsville Campaign (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ordeal of the Wounded (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fairview (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Fairview (approx. 0.3 miles away); Artillery Duel (approx. 0.4 miles away); Jackson's Impact (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chancellorsville.
 
More about this marker. The main illustration on the marker is a drawing captioned Pennsylvania troops fight along this line, May 3, 1863. To the lower left is a map showing the Federal position and the direction of the Confederate attacks.
 
The Union Center Wayside Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
3. The Union Center Wayside
 
 
Remnants of Slocum's Trenches Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
4. Remnants of Slocum's Trenches
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on August 25, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 588 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 25, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
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