Spotsylvania in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Baptism of Fire
— Lee vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign —
When Confederate Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s command advanced toward the Fredericksburg Road the next day, the Heavies went into action as infantry. The regiment deployed near the Harris House behind you. As if on parade, its lines swept forward. The Bay Staters revealed their lack of experience but “fought confounded plucky.” After four hours, the 1st Massachusetts still held its ground, and Ewell withdrew from the field. In the darkness, the Harris Farm was littered with dead, dying, and wounded. Of the 1,617 Heavies in the fight, 398 fell, almost 25 percent casualties – an appalling
Before the war ended, the 1st Massachusetts participated in many more battles, but the Harris Farm was its baptism of fire. On May 19, 1901, surviving Heavies returned here to the Harris Farm and dedicated the monument that stands in front of you to commemorate their own deeds and those of their fallen comrades.
(lower left) Dedication of monument, 1901 Courtesy John Cummings
(upper right) Officers, 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Courtesy U.S. Army Military History Institute
Erected by 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° 14.049′ N, 77° 34.208′ W. Marker is in Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of South Harris Farm Road and Pond View Lane, on the right when traveling south. 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 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Harris Farm (here, next to this marker); The Battle of Harris Farm (here, next to this marker); First Regiment Heavy Artillery (a few steps Pvt. James Z. Branscomb, CSA (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Harris Farm (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Engagement at Harris Farm (Bloomsbury) (approx. half a mile away); Landram Farm (approx. 1.3 miles away); Landram House (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania.
Also see . . .
1. Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one at this location titled “Seeing the Elephant” (Submitted on May 16, 2014.)
2. Central Virginia Battlefield Trust. (Submitted on May 16, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 15, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 493 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on May 15, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 2, 3. submitted on May 16, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.