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Locust Grove in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Battle of Payne’s Farm

Baptism of Fire

 
 
The Battle of Payne’s Farm CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, June 6, 2011
1. The Battle of Payne’s Farm CWT Marker
Inscription.  “[It was] … as warm a contest as this regiment was ever engaged in. … It seemed as if the enemy was throwing minie-balls upon us by the bucket-full, when the battle got fairly under way.” — Member of the 3rd North Carolina Infantry, CSA

“It was truly a baptism of fire, while it was a deluge of lead and iron that swept over us. The musketry was not in the least of a jerky or intermittent sort, but one continuous roll.” — History of the Tenth Regiment, Vermont Volunteers, USA

While Union Gen. Henry Prince’s division held the ground on either side of the road to Jacob’s Mill, Gen. Joseph B. Carr aligned his division on Prince’s left flank in support. He was ordered to make a connection if possible with the II Corps near Locust Grove. Nicknamed “General French’s Pets” by the rest of the corps, Carr’s division had seen little action. For several of the regiments, this would be their baptism of fire.

The three brigades of Carr’s division entered the conflict just as the Confederates were making a concerted effort to turn Prince’s flank. After some initial confusion, the untested troops advanced through
Carr's Division advances toward the open fields on Payne's Farm image. Click for full size.
2. Carr's Division advances toward the open fields on Payne's Farm
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this difficult terrain, scaled the ridge in front of you, and drove the Confederate skirmishers back. The Federals took up positions behind a fence at the edge of a large field atop the rise. In this engagement, the three regiments of Gen. William H. Morris’s brigade suffered the highest regimental losses in the Union army during the Mine Run Campaign. The green troops performed admirably and, in a matter of minutes, became veterans.

(captions)
The three brigades of Gen. Joseph B. Carr’s division advanced up the hill in front of you and, in its first battle, drove away a smaller but heavy Confederate skirmish line.

When Union Gen. William H. Morris’s brigade advanced to the crest of the ridge in front of you, it had at last “seen the elephant”—the popular saying for one’s first battle experience. Morris rode to the front, congratulated his men for their bravery, and told them that “as new troops, a brigade never fought better.” Miller’s Photographic History of the Civil War (1911)

Pvt. Jesse Benson, Co. A, 151st NY, was wounded in the right shoulder at Payne’s Farm. His arm was amputated soon after, and he was discharged from service two months later. — Courtesy Gettysburg National Military Park

 
Erected 2011 by The Civil War Trust and Virginia Civil War Trails.
Union combatants image. Click for full size.
3. Union combatants

 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. 38° 20.192′ N, 77° 49.569′ W. Marker is in Locust Grove, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Zoar Road (Virginia Route 611) east of Indiantown Road (Virginia Route 603). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 31334 Zoar Road, Locust Grove VA 22508, 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 The Battle of Payne’s Farm (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Battle of Payne’s Farm (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of Payne’s Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Payne’s Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Payne’s Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Payne’s Farm (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named The Battle of Payne’s Farm (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Mine Run Campaign (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Locust Grove.
 
Also see . . .
1. Mine Run (Payne's Farm). American Battlefield
The Battle of Payne’s Farm Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Benjamin Harrison Allen, November 26, 2021
4. The Battle of Payne’s Farm Marker
An updated marker has been installed.
Trust (Submitted on November 11, 2021.) 

2. The Mine Run Campaign by James K. Bryant II. Essential Civil War Curriculum, Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech (Submitted on November 11, 2021.) 
 
The Battle of Payne’s Farm Walking Trail image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, June 6, 2011
5. The Battle of Payne’s Farm Walking Trail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 769 times since then and 69 times this year. Last updated on April 17, 2018, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 6, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   4. submitted on February 22, 2022, by Benjamin Harrison Allen of Amissville, Virginia.   5. submitted on June 6, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 6, 2022