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MARKER DATABASE
“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)
 

Crisis in the Wilderness

 
 
Crisis in the Wilderness Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
1. Crisis in the Wilderness Marker
Inscription. A celebrated battlefield episode of the Civil War happened here at the Widow Tapp Field on the morning of May 6, 1864. The Army of Northern Virginia and its commander, R.E. Lee, faced disaster on the Orange Plank Road as a powerful Union attack swept A.P. Hill’s Confederate divisions from the woods one-half mile in front of you. James Longstreet’s long-expected Confederate reinforcements had not yet arrived, so only a thin line of artillery stood between the approaching Federals and decisive victory in the Wilderness.

This trail leads a short distance into the Widow Tapp Field to exhibits that describe the dramatic events that saved the Confederate army, and perhaps its famous commander. From there, a 30-minute loop trail visits three other points of interest.
 
Location. 38° 17.365′ N, 77° 43.617′ W. Marker is near Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Orange Plank Road (County Route 621), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is the first of a walking trail in the Tapp Field. The trail head is accessible from a parking lot off the Orange Plank Road. 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 distance of this marker.
Trailhead for the Widow Tapp Farm Trail image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
2. Trailhead for the Widow Tapp Farm Trail
Wilderness Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Lee-to-the-Rear (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); In The Nick of Time (about 300 feet away); The Widow Tapp House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Confederate Earthworks (approx. ¼ mile away); Lee to the rear! (approx. ¼ mile away); The Texans Attack (approx. ¼ mile away); Texas (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania.
 
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is a trail map indicating positions of the units, the tree lines, and stops along the trail.
 
Also see . . .  Battle of the Wilderness. (Submitted on March 9, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Tapp Field Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
3. Tapp Field Trail
This is the first in a series of markers along a walking trail on the Tapp Field. The artillery pieces displayed here are both 6-pdr Field Guns Model 1841 altered to appear as "Napoleon" guns.
The Tapp Field image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
4. The Tapp Field
The walking trail covers the area of the Tapp Field, which saw action on May 6, 1864, during the Battle of the Wilderness.
Tap Field Trail Map image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
5. Tap Field Trail Map
A "False Napoleon" image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
6. A "False Napoleon"
In the 1890s a commission placing cannon at Gettysburg was short of real 12-pdr Napoleon guns to depict all the important artillery locations on the field. The commission had several 6-pdr Field Guns altered to look similar to the larger guns. The process required removal of some bands and rings, generally smoothing of the barrel, and the bore enlarged to 4 and a half inches to a depth of about six inches. While resembling the larger guns from a distance, the smaller cannon are easy to identify up close, as seen here. This particular piece was originally altered with rifling during the war. The lands and grooves of which are seen where the bore enlargement ends.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 9, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 985 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 9, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   2. submitted on March 10, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4, 5. submitted on March 9, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6. submitted on March 10, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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