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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)
 

No Turning Back

The Battle of the Wilderness

— Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park —

 
 
No Turning Back Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
1. No Turning Back Marker
Inscription.  
When the armies departed the Wilderness, they left behind a disfigured landscape. Trenches twisted like earthen snakes through the woods, and blackened leaves marked the paths of fires. Along the Brock Road, noted one soldier, trees "were scarred by bullets from their roots to their tops, and in great spaces the whole tops were mown down by bullets as with a scythe."

Corpses, too, littered the landscape. "Thousands of men were dead and wounded," wrote one officer, "and that vast wilderness was one great cemetery and hospital for both armies." The Army of the Potomac suffered more than 17,600 casualties in the two-day fight; Confederate losses exceeded 11,000. Although some of the dead received hasty burials, many bodies remained untouched until the following year. A few would remain for years.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
 
Location. 38° 18.063′ N, 77° 42.538′ W. Marker is near Spotsylvania
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Courthouse, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is at the intersection of Brock Road (County Route 613) and Orange Plank Road (County Route 621), on the right when traveling south on Brock Road. Located at stop eight of a driving tour of the Wilderness Battlefield. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10801 Orange Plank Rd, Spotsylvania VA 22551, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. On to Richmond! (here, next to this marker); 12th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 1862 - 1865 (a few steps from this marker); The Climax (within shouting distance of this marker); Horror on the Orange Plank Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Valuable Crossroads (within shouting distance of this marker); Echoes Homeward (within shouting distance of this marker); Hell Itself (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Vermont Brigade (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania Courthouse.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a photograph of the remains of soldiers killed in the fighting around the Wilderness.
 
Also see . . .  Battle of Wilderness. National Park Service site provides links to a summary of the campaign, maps for driving and walking tours, and additional photos of the battlefield. (Submitted on January 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Markers at the Brock and Plank Roads Intersection image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
2. Markers at the Brock and Plank Roads Intersection
 
 
".... Like Earthen Snakes..." image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
3. ".... Like Earthen Snakes..."
A segment of trenches, these from Hancock's Federal Corps, are preserved near the intersection. All around the area are trenches from both the 1863 and 1864 battles fought over this terrain.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,328 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Apr. 21, 2024