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

Widow Tapp’s Field

Battle of the Wilderness

Widow Tapp’s Field image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
1. Widow Tapp’s Field
Inscription. Few families of modest means became so famous. In this field lived widow Catherine Tapp, who with other family members eked out an existence from the poor soil. The Tapps occupied a lopsided log cabin about 300 yards in front of you – seven people living in a space perhaps 30 by 20 feet. A corncrib, log stable, and a few fruit trees surrounded the house. Four milk cows and seven pigs wandered the property.

Catherine Tapp’s net worth barely exceeded 100 dollars. She owned no land; she owned no slaves. A kitchen garden and small patch of corn, potatoes, and wheat likely provided much of the family’s food. The war that so devastated others in Spotsylvania County could do little to diminish the Tapps; they had little to lose.
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Historical Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 38° 17.665′ N, 77° 43.484′ W. Marker is near Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is on Hill-Ewell Drive, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in the Wilderness Battlefield at Tour Stop 6. Marker is in this post office area: Spotsylvania VA 22551, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking
Marker with the Tapp Field in the background image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
2. Marker with the Tapp Field in the background
Here at the widow Tapp field, on April 6, 1864, Gen. Lee's army was saved from disaster by the timely arrival of the Texan Brigade and Gen. James Longstreet.
distance of this marker. Crisis in Tapp Field (here, next to this marker); Confederate Earthworks (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Widow Tapp House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Texans Attack (approx. 0.2 miles away); Col. James D. Nance (approx. ¼ mile away); Texas (approx. ¼ mile away); Lee to the rear! (approx. ¼ mile away); Wilderness Campaign (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Spotsylvania.
More about this marker. The marker's background is a painting with the caption A postwar painting of Widow Tapp’s cabin. Tapp rented the farm from James Horace Lacy, who lived at Ellwood, two miles northeast of here.

In the upper right of the marker is a photograph of a witness to the Battle of the Wilderness. Eliza “Phenie” Tapp was just four at the time of the battle, but in the 1930s she described her childhood memories to National Park Service historian Ralph Happel. She remembered that as her family fled their home bullets struck the dirt around them, kicking up dust like the first raindrops of a coming storm.
Also see . . .  Battle of the Wilderness. (Submitted on March 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. Antebellum South, USWar, US Civil
Ellwood image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
3. Ellwood
This is the home of James Horace Lacy, who also owned the farm of the widow Tapp. Ellwood is also the final resting place for the amputated arm of Confederate Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson.
The Tapp Fields image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
4. The Tapp Fields
The park has restored some of the original boundaries of the Tapp fields. Open ground to the west of the marker location were farmed by the Tapp family at the time of the battle. Residential development has covered many sectors of the battlefield. A substantial subdivision now stands to the north of the marker, on the opposite side of the road from this view.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,107 times since then and 79 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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