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

Slaughter Pen Farm

Hand-to-Hand Combat at the Railroad

 
 
Hand-to-Hand Combat at the Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
1. Hand-to-Hand Combat at the Railroad Marker
Inscription. Just before 2 p.m., Gen. John Gibbon ordered Col. Adrian Root's men to cross the railroad in front of you and enter the woods beyond. With flags in front and bayonets fixed, Root's and remnants from Taylor's and Lyle's brigades advanced through a hail of iron and lead. Soldiers went "down like wheat before the reaper." In the edge of the woods, the Union troops and Gen. James H. Lane's North Carolinians fought with clubbed muskets, bayonets,swords, and pistols.

"With a shout and a run, the brigade leaped the ditches, charged across the railway, and occupied the wood beyond, driving the enemy from their position, [and] killing a number with bayonet."
- Col. Adrian Root, USA

"We was laying in a rale road cut and when the Yankees come upon us we all lef the cut. ... We dug a long grave and buried all that was killed out of our company, side and side."
- Pvt. J.T. Carpenter, 28th North Carolina Infantry, CSA

Outnumbered and out of ammunition, the Confederates fell back with Union troops in close pursuit - dead and wounded soldiers trampled in the process. But just like Gen. George G. Meade, to his left, Gibbon's penetration of the Confederate line was in vain. His troops were disorganized, low on ammunition, and without support. The Confederates had ample reserves that soon arrived in force and pushed
Civil War Preservation Trust image. Click for more information.
2. Civil War Preservation Trust
Help preservation like the Slaughter Pen Farm.
Click for more information.
the reluctant Union troops back across the railroad.
 
Erected 2009 by Civil War Preservation Trust and Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 15.733′ N, 77° 27.088′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Tidewater Trail (U.S. 17), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located on the Civil War Preservation Trust's Slaughter Pen Farm trail. Please obtain permission before entering the property. Call CWPT at (800) 298-7878. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22408, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); Engines of Destruction (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bernard's Cabins (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. mile away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm
Close Up of the Battle Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
3. Close Up of the Battle Map
The north seeking arrow points to the lower right of the map.
(approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Slaughter Pen Farm (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
More about this marker. In the lower center is a painting depicting Men of the 49th Georgia infantry fight Gen. Gibbon's troops at the R.F. & P. Railroad. On the upper right is a photo of a wrecked railroad. Railroads were logistical necessities for large armies, and Gen. Burnside hoped the railroad, the Richmond, Fredericksburg, & Potomac (R.F.& P.), could serve as a direct supply route to Richmond. This image shows the damaged R.F. & P. bridge over the North Anna River in 1864.

In the lower rights is a map of the battle in this sector. Gibbon's combined assault achieved some measure of success, but the unsupported Union troops were eventually pushed back.
 
Also see . . .  The Slaughter Pen Farm. Civil War Preservation Trust virtual tour of the Slaughter Pen Farm. (Submitted on July 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Seventh Wayside on the Slaughter Pen Farm Trail image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
4. Seventh Wayside on the Slaughter Pen Farm Trail
The Richmond, Fredericksburg, & Potomac Railroad Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
5. The Richmond, Fredericksburg, & Potomac Railroad Today
Contested Ground Near the R,F, & P Railroad image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 25, 2009
6. Contested Ground Near the R,F, & P Railroad
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,075 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on July 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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