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

Spotsylvania Campaign

 
 
Spotsylvania Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 6, 2008
1. Spotsylvania Campaign Marker
Inscription.  May 12, 1864. About 6 a.m. Wright's VI Corps advancing to support Hancock's attack occupied the area in front of the Confederate works on the west face of the Salient. Here at a slight bend in the line, the area ever after known as the Bloody Angle, occurred the most savage, long-sustained hand-to-hand combat of the War. The opposing troops fired muzzle-to-muzzle and bayoneted and clubbed one another across the logs of the parapet. Musket fire slashed the springtime greenery and toppled trees, one an oak almost two feet in diameter. Rain poured down and the dead piled up in the mud. Before daylight on the 13th the exhausted Confederates withdrew to a better line.
 
Erected by United States Department of the Interior - National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is May 12, 1864.
 
Location. 38° 13.403′ N, 77° 36.004′ W. Marker is near Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Grant Drive, on the left when traveling east. Located at tour
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stop three (Bloody Angle) on the driving tour of Spotsylvania Battlefield unit of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. The marker is a short walk from the parking area, on the Bloody Angle hiking trail. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Spotsylvania VA 22553, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (here, next to this marker); 49th New York Infantry (a few steps from this marker); McGowan's Brigade (a few steps from this marker); 15th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers (within shouting distance of this marker); The Confederate Earthworks (within shouting distance of this marker); Aftermath (within shouting distance of this marker); Struggle for the Bloody Angle (within shouting distance of this marker); Bloody Angle, Crowded Ravine (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania Courthouse.
 
Also see . . .  Bloody Angle. National Park Service website entry (Submitted on August 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Tour Stop Three image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain
2. Tour Stop Three
Two markers and a campaign map stand at the start of the Bloody Angle trail.
Site of 22 inch Tree Felled by Small Arms Fire image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 6, 2008
3. Site of 22 inch Tree Felled by Small Arms Fire
The tree trunk itself is now displayed in the Smithsonian Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C.
Compass image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 6, 2008
4. Compass
As at many locations on the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Battlefields, a compass points out the distances to different strategic points. From the north, clockwise - Brown House 0.8 m, Landram House 0.3 m, Fredericksburg 9 m, Harris Farm 1.9 m, Ny River 1 m, Massaponax Church 5.4 m, Fortress Monroe 113 m, Spotsylvania C.H. 1.6 m, McCoull House 0.2 m, Lee's Final Line 0.7 m, Sedgwick Monument 0.9 m, Po River 2.2 m, Todd's Tavern 4 m, Brock-Plank Crossroads 7.9 m, and Chancellorsville 6.1 m
Oak Tree Felled by Bullets image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, May 3, 2009
5. Oak Tree Felled by Bullets
On display at the American History Museum, of the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
Spotsylvania Tree Stup image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, May 3, 2009
6. Spotsylvania Tree Stup
Until May 12, 1864, this shattered stump was a large oak tree in a meadow outside Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia. That morning, 1,200 entrenched Confederates, the front line of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, awaited the assault of 5,000 Union troops from the Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Twenty hours later, the once-peaceful meadow had acquired a new name, Bloody Angle. The same fury of rifle bullets that cut down 2,000 combatants tore away all but twenty-two inches of the tree's trunk.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,324 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on August 18, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on June 15, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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May. 28, 2024