Near Bellvue in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Slaughter Pen Farm
Meade's troops advanced directly into a 600-yard gap in the Confederate line left unmanned because the swampy ground was mistakenly deemed impassible. Union troops pushed through the swampy woods, wrecked two Confederate brigades, and expanded the size of the gap in the Southern line. Both sides became disorganized and scrambled to regroup. Meade needed reinforcements but none arrived in time. Out of ammunition and out of time, Meade's men found it impossible to hold on.
"I felt sorry for those poor Yankee soldiers as they marched into the very jaws of death."
- Confederate Soldier
"We were now well into the enemy's warm fire. ... The men inclined their heads somewhat as though moving against a driving rain."
(Sidebar Captions to the Left):
Under Photo of General Meade:
As his attack was faltering, Gen. George G. Meade called upon Gen. David Birney to bring up his division in support. When Birney failed to advance, the notoriously testy Meade rode to the rear and berated Birney in a tone that could "almost make the stones creep" underfoot. Birney hastily organized his division and pushed forward, but it was too little, too late.
Under Drawing of Gen. Gregg:
Confederate Gen. Maxcy Gregg had compiled an impressive record on numerous Civil War battlefields. Fredericksburg was his last. As Meade's men unleashed a devastating volley into Gregg's surprised South Carolina troops, Gregg received a bullet in the spine from which he died two days later.
Erected 2009 by Civil War Preservation Trust and Virginia Civil War Trails.
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° 15.712′ N, 77° 26.601′ W. Marker is near Bellvue, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Tidewater Trail (U.S. 17), on the right when traveling southTouch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22408, 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 Slaughter Pen Farm (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battle of Fredericksburg (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Fredericksburg (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bellvue.
More about this marker. On the right is a map of the battlefield indicating the positions and movements in this sector as described in the text. In exploiting the supposedly impassible gap in the Confederate line, Meade put the Union army in position to win the battle. Franklin's failure to properly support Meade's assault, however, doomed the attack to failure.
Also see . . . The Slaughter Pen Farm. Civil War Preservation Trust virtual tour of the Slaughter Pen Farm. (Submitted on July 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,399 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on July 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on July 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 7, 8. submitted on September 23, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 9. submitted on September 14, 2020, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.