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

High Drama, Human Tragedy

 
 
High Drama, Human Tragedy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
1. High Drama, Human Tragedy Marker
Inscription. The climactic fighting of the Battle of Chancellorsville took place in the woods and fields around Fairview. Here on the morning of May 3, 1863, Union troops struggled to maintain their position long enough to allow General Hooker time to establish a new line a mile to the north.

The Confederates fought desperately to reunite the two wings of Lee's command and to finish what Jackson had begun the night before - the destruction of Hooker's army. The Confederates drove the Federals from Chancellorsville, but Hooker escaped, his army intact.

...our line melted away as if swallowed up by the earth.... Every man went on his own hook, crawling over and under everything before us... The woods were afire, and ... there was a rush for the clearings and road, and then we stood huddled together under the pitiless rain of cannester and shell till the flames swept by...[The Yankees'] charred bodies dotted the ground and we could see by the ashes where they had scratched the leaves away in a vain attempt to save themselves from the more awful fate of burning alive.
Nicholas Weeks, 3rd Alabama Infantry
 
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
 
Location. 38° 18.456′ N, 77° 38.641′ 
Battle Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
2. Battle Map
W. Marker is near Chancellorsville, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Berry-Paxton Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located at Fairview, stop ten of the driving tour of Chancellorsville Battlefield. The marker is also at stop five of the Hazel Grove-Fairview walking trail. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jackson's Impact (here, next to this marker); Artillery Duel (within shouting distance of this marker); Fairview (within shouting distance of this marker); Ordeal of the Wounded (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fairview (within shouting distance of this marker); Chancellor Cemetery (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Collis Zouaves (approx. 0.2 miles away); The 27th Indiana Infantry (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chancellorsville.
 
More about this marker. An Alfred Waud drawing of "Union troops fighting in the Chancellor clearing, behind you, on May 3" is on the lower half of the marker. On the upper right is a map showing the tactical situation on May 3.
 
Regarding High Drama, Human Tragedy. This is one of several markers for the Battle of Chancellorsville
Fighting in the Woods image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
3. Fighting in the Woods
In the woods to the west of the artillery positions, infantry clashed as both sides struggled to control the positions flanking the Union artillery line. This point, stop three of the Hazel Grove-Fairview walking trail, is the center of fighting between Graham's Pennsylvania Brigade and Ramseur's North Carolina Brigade. Losses on both sides were heavy, 756 from the Pennsylvanians and 788 of the Tarheels.
at Hazel Grove and Fairview, the central part of the battle. See the Hazel Grove - Fairview 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. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Hazel Grove - Fairview Walking Trail. A one mile walk through the scene of the heavy fighting on May 2-3, 1863. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Hazel Grove - Fairview Virtual Tour by Markers. The Hazel Grove and Fairview portions of the battlefield (stops nine and ten on the driving tour of the battlefield). Markers along this tour include those on Stuart and Slocum Drives. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
12th New Hampshire image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
4. 12th New Hampshire
At 9:15 a.m. on May 3, 1863, the Federal lines in the woods were faltering. The 12th New Hampshire was sent forward to fill a gap in the lines. Here at the Hazel Grove-Fairview walking trail stop number four, the regiment stepped forward into the wood line at the bottom of this ridge. In the smoke filled woods, the fighting was hand to hand, but the men from the Granite State filled the line and stood firm. Of the 558 men entering the battle with the regiment, 317 were casualties at the end of the fighting.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 975 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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