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

Seeking Cover

Battle of Fredericksburg

 
 
Seeking Cover Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 12, 2009
1. Seeking Cover Marker
Inscription. For Union soldiers who attacked Marye's Heights, the open plain in front of you offered just two sources of cover: the brick Stratton house, visible just two blocks ahead on the left side of the street, and the swale, a slight drop in the landscape just beyond the Stratton house. Both are visible from this location.

For three days, Union soldiers stubbornly clung to their position in front of the stone wall, pinned down by Confederate riflemen in the Sunken Road. Some Union soldiers lying in the swale tried to protect themselves by pushing dirt in front of them. Others sought shelter behind the bodies of fallen comrades. Night alone brought protection.

The enemy riddled every moving thing in sight ....
Capt. John W. Ames, 11th United States Infantry.
 
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park - National Park Service - Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 17.763′ N, 77° 28.086′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker is on Mercer Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located in front of the Inns House on the Sunken Road walking trail in the Fredericksburg battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Close Up of the Painting image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 12, 2009
2. Close Up of the Painting
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Killing Fields (here, next to this marker); Angel of Marye's Heights (within shouting distance of this marker); Kirkland Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Innis House (within shouting distance of this marker); Fredericksburg Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Sunken Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Stephens Family Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Brompton (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
More about this marker. On the right is a painting depicting the battle in front of Marye's Heights. This watercolor, by Private John G. Keyser, depicts the initial assault on Marye's Heights. Keyser took part in that attack. He drew this picture from the vantage point of the Union soldiers, who were looking toward you. Although inaccurate in its details, the image shows many of the principle landmarks of the battlefield, including the Stratton house and swale.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Markers at the Corner of Mercer Street image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 12, 2009
3. Markers at the Corner of Mercer Street
Federal Advance image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 12, 2009
4. Federal Advance
Looking east from the marker. Notice the slight rise of Mercer Street. This is the "swale," which is today covered with residential neighborhoods.
Stratton House image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 13, 2008
5. Stratton House
The Stratton House still stands at the corner of Mercer and Littlepage Streets.
Federal Advance image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 13, 2008
6. Federal Advance
Looking from beside the Stratton House toward the marker location and Marye's Heights.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,261 times since then and 76 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 19, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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