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

The Confederate Line

The Battle of the Wilderness

 
 
The Confederate Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 6, 2014
1. The Confederate Line Marker
The wartime photograph in the center carries the caption: Confederate earthworks at Saunders Field. Logworks like these, though hastily constructed, proved amazingly strong.
Inscription. Dick Ewell was raring for a fight. When a subordinate approached him early on May 5, 1864, and asked Ewell about his orders, the balding, pop-eyed general piped up cheerily: "... Just the orders I like - to go right down the [turnpike] and strike the enemy wherever I find him."

Ewell made contact with the Union army here at Saunders Field. Deploying in line of battle across the turnpike, the Confederates began to entrench using knives, bayonets, shovels made from canteen halves, or whatever other tools they could find. The earthen mounds around you are a remnant of their handiwork.

For two days Ewell's men stubbornly defended this ridge against attacks by the Union Fifth and Sixth corps. Unable to dent Ewell's strong position here along the turnpike, Grant turned his attention south, to the Orange Plank Road. It was there that the battle was decided.

"A bayonet served to loosen the dirt, and the shovels followed after. Our men were good woodcutters and were not slow to fell trees as the basis for the works .... It was surprising to see how hastily they threw up trenches in a night and even in a few hours." - Assistant Surgeon Thomas F. Wood, 3rd North Carolina Infantry
 
Erected by Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park - National Park Service - U.S. Department
Map on the upper right of marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 6, 2014
2. Map on the upper right of marker
of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 18.963′ N, 77° 45.548′ W. Marker is near Locust Grove, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker is on Hill-Ewell Drive, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. The marker is in the Wilderness Battlefield, at Stop Three (Saunders Field) on the driving tour of the battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Locust Grove VA 22508, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “A Wild, Wicked Roar” (here, next to this marker); Battle of the Wilderness (a few steps from this marker); The Confederate Defense (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 140th New York State Vols. (about 700 feet away); First Blood in Saunders Field (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gordon Flank Attack Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Wilderness (approx. 0.2 miles away); Saunders Field (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Locust Grove.
 
Also see . . .  Battle of the Wilderness. NPS page with information on the battle. (Submitted on April 7, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Markers overlooking Saunders Field image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 6, 2014
3. Markers overlooking Saunders Field
Remains of Confederate Earthworks image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 6, 2014
4. Remains of Confederate Earthworks
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 327 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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