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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Waverly Village in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Battle of Salem Church

 
 
The Battle of Salem Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 10, 2007
1. The Battle of Salem Church Marker
Inscription. This ridge top now brimming with traffic and commerce once witnessed the clash of armies. On May 3, 1863, 10,000 Confederate troops took position astride the Orange Plank Road (modern Va. Route 3). That afternoon, 20,000 Union soldiers under General John Sedgwick, marching westward from Fredericksburg, attacked the Confederates here, trying to break through to strike the rear of Lee’s army at Chancellorsville. The fighting raged along this ridge extending several hundred yards to your right and left.

The climax of the fighting swirled around Salem Church itself. Here Sedgwick’s Federals, swarming up the ridge toward you, broke through the Southern line. But the Confederates surged back again, sealed the breach, and drove the Federals down the slope. They would not return. The next day General Lee himself arrived with reinforcements, enveloped the Federals, and pushed them across the Rappahannock.

(Caption, upper right picture): The Confederate victory at Salem Church preserved Lee’s position at Chancellorsville, clinching his triumph. Still Lee lamented that the Federal army had escaped at all.

(Caption, main picture): This early 20th-century photograph, taken near this spot, looks east down the Orange Plank Road (modern Va. Route 3). Salem Church is to the right, out of view. Union troops
Close-up of Aerial Photograph image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
2. Close-up of Aerial Photograph
formed in the low ground in the distance before attacking astride the road. Both monuments visible in the photo still stand today.
 
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 17.346′ N, 77° 31.873′ W. Marker is near Waverly Village, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Old Salem Church Road near Plank Road (Virginia Route 3). Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4044 Plank Road, Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Battle of Salem Church (here, next to this marker); From Church to Hospital (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Salem Church (a few steps from this marker); Refuge from Horror (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Salem Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Salem Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Churchyard to Battleground (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sanctuaries in Spotsylvania (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Waverly Village.
 
More about this marker. The monuments mentioned in the main picture's
The Battle of Salem Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 10, 2007
3. The Battle of Salem Church Marker
The cemetery and new Salem Baptist Church building are in the background.
caption are linked in the "Related Markers" section.
 
Regarding The Battle of Salem Church. This is one of five stops at Salem Church related to the Battle of Chancellorsville. See the Salem Church Virtual Tour by Markers in the links section for a listing of related markers on the tour.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Salem Church Virtual Tour by Markers. The Salem Church site, surrounded by modern development, was an important site in the later stages of the Battle and Campaign of Chancellorsville. (Submitted on November 12, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Salem Church Walking Trail. National Park Service guide. (Submitted on November 12, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.MilitaryWar, US Civil
 
Old Salem Church image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 10, 2007
4. Old Salem Church
This directional sign, taken from the left turn lane from Plank Road onto Salem Church Road, is only a few steps from "The Battle of Salem Church" marker, showing how close Va. Route 3 (Plank Road) now encroaches on the Old Salem Church site.
Confederate Line image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
5. Confederate Line
Looking north from the Churchyard, the Confederate line extended across the street from the Church, into what is today a strip mall.
Federal Breech of Confederate Lines image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
6. Federal Breech of Confederate Lines
The point of the Federal penetration of Confederate lines is across the street from the Church, near where a bank stands today.
Old Salem Church image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, July 18, 2008
7. Old Salem Church
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,131 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   7. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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