Spotsylvania in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Death of Sedgwick
The Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse
Sedgwick was essentially a soldier. He had never married; the camp was his home, and the members of his staff were his family. He was always spoken of familiarly as “Uncle John,” and the news of his death fell upon his comrades with a sense of grief akin to the sorrow of a personal bereavement. Lieutenant Colonel Horace Porter, USA Staff
General John Sedgwick, a much-admired bachelor from Connecticut, commanded the Army of the Potomac’s Sixth Corps. On May 9, 1864, Sedgwick was seated at his headquarters, a few feet behind you, when he noticed confusion among some of his troops here at the front. Ignoring earlier warnings of danger, he walked over to this spot to sort things out.
No sooner did he arrive than a sharpshooter’s bullet sped past, causing a young private at his side to drop to the ground in fear. Sedgwick gently chided the man, saying, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” A second shot followed, then a third—the last followed by a sickening thud. The general pitched to the ground, blood gushing from a hole just below his left eye. He was the highest-ranking Union officer to die in the Civil War.
“The Death of General Sedgwick,” by Julian Scott. In 1877, Sixth Corps veterans returned to Spotsylvania and dedicated
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Location. 38° 13.091′ N, 77° 36.874′ W. Marker is in Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is at the intersection of Grant Drive and Brock Road, on the right when traveling south on Grant Drive. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Spotsylvania VA 22553, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sedgwick (a few steps from this marker); Spotsylvania Campaign (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Laurel Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); The Race for Spotsylvania Court House (within shouting distance of this marker); A Different Kind of War (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Testing the Line: May 8-10 (about 300 feet away); The Battle of Spotsylvania (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Spotsylvania.
Also see . . .
1. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. (Submitted on June 24, 2013.)
2. Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced (Submitted on June 27, 2013.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 338 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. 3. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.