Near Spotsylvania Courthouse in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Attack on the Muleshoe
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
— Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park —
Like Lee, General Ulysses S. Grant recognized the Muleshoe’s weakness and made plans to exploit it. On May 12, just after dawn, 20,000 men of General Winfield S. Hancock’s Second Corps stormed across the field in front of you—from left to right—and swept over the Confederate works, capturing 3,000 men and 20 cannons. It was one of the most successful Union attacks of the Civil War.
Capture of the Muleshoe nearly cut the Army of Northern Virginia in two, threatening its very existence. Lee counterattacked in a desperate attempt to regain the lost ground, or at least to buy time to build a new line, close to 1,000 yards behind the outer line. For the rest of day, both generals funneled every available man into the Salient. Grant fought to win; Lee to survive. The result was the most violent sustained combat in American history.
Every Confederate realized the desperate situation and every Union soldier knew what was involved. For a time, every soldier was a fiend. The attack was fierce—the resistance fanatical. Corporal John Haley, 17th Maine Volunteers
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 month for this entry is May 1920.
Location. 38° 13.421′ N, 77° 36.048′ W. Marker is near Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Grant Drive north of Anderson Drive, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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. Bloody Angle, Crowded Ravine (here, next to this marker); The Muleshoe Salient (within shouting distance of this marker); Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); 126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 49th New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Aftermath (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania Courthouse.
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 520 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 24, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 3. submitted on April 7, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.