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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Spotsylvania in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Rearguard Action

The Battle of Fredericksburg

 
 
Rearguard Action Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
1. Rearguard Action Marker
For some unknown reason, this marker is clearly labeled (upper right corner) with "Battle of Fredericksburg." It should read "Battle of Chancellorsville."
Inscription. On May 2, 1863, as the tail end of Stonewall Jackson's flanking column neared the Wellford place, Union infantry launched an attack. They struck Jackson's rearguard (the 23rd Georgia) a half-mile to the north, at Catharine Furnace. From there, they fought a running battle to the Wellford farm. Confederate artillery unlimbered in the yard of the Wellford house to help repel a Union assault.

Outnumbered, the Georgians fell back to the protection of a railroad embankment, still visible inside the woods ahead of you. But Union sharpshooters outflanked the Georgians' position and captured most of the regiment. The Federals pushed no farther, though, and Jackson's march continued. By 5 p.m. his column lay poised opposite the Union army's unprotected right flank, about three miles northwest of you. Jackson stood on the verge of his greatest success.
 
Erected by National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 16.803′ N, 77° 38.755′ W. Marker is near Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is on Jackson Trail East, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located on the Jackson Flank March driving loop in the Chancellorsville Battlefield section of the Fredericksburg
The Wellford Farm Waysides image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
2. The Wellford Farm Waysides
On the left is Ordeal of the Wellfords, and on the right is Rearguard Action.
and Spotsylvania National Battlefield Park. Marker is in this post office area: Spotsylvania VA 22553, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ordeal of the Wellfords ( here, next to this marker); Chancellorsville Campaign ( about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Chancellorsville Campaign ( approx. 0.6 miles away); A Region of Gloom ( approx. 0.6 miles away); Catharine Furnace ( approx. 0.6 miles away); Jackson's Flank March ( approx. 0.6 miles away); About a mile in the distance... ( approx. 0.7 miles away); Maury House Trail ( approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a map depicting Jackson's flank march with the location of the Wellford House and the 23rd Georgia position indicated. Union leaders spotted Jackson's column, assumed he was retreating and attacked. The 23rd Georgia tried to stop them. The fight ended only when the Georgians surrendered in the unfinished railroad, about 200 yards in front of you.

An inset portrait shows Colonel Emory F. Best, 23rd Georgia. Best would be court-martialed for abandoning his regiment before it surrendered.
 
Regarding Rearguard Action.
The Rearguard image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
3. The Rearguard
Looking north on the flank trail road. The railroad cut was a few hundred yards north of this point. Confederate artillery deployed in this area to attempt to check the Federals, but with the limited visibility, was of little use.
This is one of several markers for the Battle of Chancellorsville along the Jackson's Flank March and Attack trail. See the Jackson's Flank March and Attack Virtual Tour by Markers in the links section for a listing of related markers on the tour.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Chancellorsville. National Park Service site detailing the battle. (Submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Jackson's Flank March and Attack Virtual Tour by Markers. This virtual tour covers the optional Jackson Flank Trail route of the driving tour and concludes at Jackson's Flank Attack (stop 8) of the driving tour, tracing the route of Jackson's march to deliver the decisive attack of the battle. (Submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,201 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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