Near Spotsylvania Courthouse in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Death of Sedgwick
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
— Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park —
Sedgwick was essentially a soldier. He had never married; the camp was his home, and the members of his staff were his family. He was always spoken of familiarly as “Uncle John,” and the news of his death fell upon his comrades with a sense of grief akin to the sorrow of a personal bereavement. Lieutenant Colonel Horace Porter, USA Staff
General John Sedgwick, a much-admired bachelor from Connecticut, commanded the Army of the Potomac’s Sixth Corps. On May 9, 1864, Sedgwick was seated at his headquarters, a few feet behind you, when he noticed confusion among some of his troops here at the front. Ignoring earlier warnings of danger, he walked over to this spot to sort things out.
No sooner did he arrive than a sharpshooter’s bullet sped past, causing a young private at his side to drop to the ground in fear. Sedgwick gently chided the man, saying, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” A second shot followed, then a third—the last followed by a sickening thud. The general pitched to the ground, blood gushing from a hole just below his left eye. He was the highest-ranking
“The Death of General Sedgwick,” by Julian Scott. In 1877, Sixth Corps veterans returned to Spotsylvania and dedicated this monument to their fallen leader. It is among the oldest monuments in the park.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is May 9, 1864.
Location. 38° 13.091′ N, 77° 36.874′ W. Marker is near Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is at the intersection of Grant Drive and Brock Road, on the right when traveling south on Grant Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8116 Brock Rd, 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. Laurel Hill Trail (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Death of Sedgwick (a few steps from this marker); Sedgwick (a few steps from this marker); Spotsylvania Campaign (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Laurel Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); The Race for Spotsylvania Court HouseA Different Kind of War (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania Courthouse.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
Also see . . . Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. (Submitted on June 24, 2013.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 24, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 478 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 24, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 3. submitted on March 29, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.