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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

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

The Confederate Defense

 
 
The Confederate Defense Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
1. The Confederate Defense Marker
Inscription.  Confederate troops commanded by General Richard S. Ewell arrived on this ridge line on the morning of May 5. Ordered by General Lee not to initiate a battle, Ewell placed 10,000 men along this high ground on either side of the Orange Turnpike (present day Route 20) and prepared earthworks. None of the Union attacks on this side of the road succeeded, although the 140th New York briefly grappled hand-to-hand here with their opponents from North Carolina and Virginia. The Federals did break Ewell's line across the highway, killing Confederate General John M. Jones in the process. A Southern counterattack, however, drove the Unionists out of the woods and back across Saunders' Field.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
 
Location. 38° 19.035′ N, 77° 45.547′ W. Marker is in Locust Grove, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Constitution Highway (State Highway 20), on the right when traveling west. The marker is in Wilderness Battlefield at stop 2 of the Gordon Flank Attack trail, near Driving Tour Stop Two
Gordon Flank Attack Trail - Stop 2 image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
2. Gordon Flank Attack Trail - Stop 2
(the Exhibit Shelter). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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. Battle of the Wilderness (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Confederate Line (about 400 feet away); “A Wild, Wicked Roar” (about 400 feet away); 140th New York State Vols. (about 500 feet away); First Blood in Saunders Field (about 600 feet away); Gordon Flank Attack Trail (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named "A Wild, Wicked Roar" (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of the Wilderness (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Locust Grove.
 
More about this marker. The upper portion of the marker is a portrait of Brigadier General John Marshall Jones, CSA.
 
Confederate Earthworks image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
3. Confederate Earthworks
What remains are shallow ditches through the woods. When constructed, these defenses were based on log post retaining walls, with diagonal supports. Displaced earth was banked up on the "enemy" side of the wall. A defender could then stand at a crouch and fire his weapon.
Extended Confederate Trenches image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
4. Extended Confederate Trenches
The trenches here were constructed on May 5, 1864, and became secondary lines on May 6-7.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,052 times since then and 7 times this year. Last updated on September 5, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 6, 2021