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Five Mile Fork in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Confederate Defense Turns to Offense

Battle of Chancellorsville - 1863

 
 
Confederate Defense Turns to Offense Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., April 28, 2008
1. Confederate Defense Turns to Offense Marker
Inscription. Confronted by overwhelming numbers, Confederate forces fell back from Chancellorsville (three and a half miles in front of you) and established a defensive position here on April 30. General Robert E. Lee instructed Richard H. Anderson, who commanded this line, to “…Set your spades to work as vigorously as possible.” Anderson did just that. With 9,100 men, he constructed a line of earthworks along Mine Road, which ran southeast from U.S. Ford, stretched across Orange Turnpike and Orange Plank Road, and then the crossed grade of the unfinished railroad to the south. Having thus covered all westerly approached from Chancellorsville, Anderson awaited reinforcements.

In the early morning hours of May 1, General Lafayette McLaws’ division arrived to reinforce Anderson’s line. Before daylight, three other divisions under Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson left Fredericksburg and began the march westward. At 8:30 am, Jackson reached this advanced position. After quickly surveying the situation, he ordered Anderson and McLaws to put down their spades and pick up their rifles. With a combined force of 36,500, Jackson determined to strike the Union army before it attacked him. At 10:30 am, the signal was given and the Confederate columns began their advance westward, taking the Turnpike and Plank Road. The opening clash
Confederate Defense Turns to Offense Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W.
2. Confederate Defense Turns to Offense Marker
A paved trail leads up to the remains of hastily constructed, but never used, Confederate earthworks. See the Earthworks Marker, in the other nearby markers section, for more information.
of the Battle of Chancellorsville occurred shortly thereafter in the woods and fields one mile in front of you.
 
Location. 38° 17.62′ N, 77° 34.314′ W. Marker is in Five Mile Fork, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Plank Road/Germanna Highway (Virginia Route 3) near Harrison Road. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5701 Plank Road, Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. McCarty Farm (here, next to this marker); Earthworks (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Roads Through the Battlefield (about 500 feet away); Opening of the Campaign (about 500 feet away); Spotswood’s Furnace (about 800 feet away); First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Five Mile Fork.
 
Regarding Confederate Defense Turns to Offense. This marker is grouped with the markers along McLaws Drive, Furnace Road, Sickles Drive, East Jackson Trail, and others on the east side of the battlefield. See the First Days of the Battle of Chancellorsville
Detail of the map on the Confederate Defense Turns to Offense Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., April 28, 2008
3. Detail of the map on the Confederate Defense Turns to Offense Marker
May 1, 1863 – In the early afternoon of May 1, both armies advanced to meet each other. The battle began in the open fields one mile to the west.
Virtual Tour by Markers
in the links section for a listing of related markers on the tour.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Chancellorsville. National Parks Service site. (Submitted on May 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. First Days of the Battle of Chancellorsville Virtual Tour by Markers. This virtual tour by markers covers action from May 1-3, 1863. (Submitted on May 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Thomas J. Jackson image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., April 28, 2008
4. Thomas J. Jackson
Jackson displayed his aggressive style on May 1 when he abandoned this defensive position and attacked the Union forces east of Chancellorsville.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,082 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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