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

Crisis in Tapp Field

Battle of the Wilderness

 
 
Crisis in Tapp Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
1. Crisis in Tapp Field Marker
Inscription. Here on the morning of May 6, 1864, Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his army faced perhaps their greatest crisis. Soon after dawn, hundreds of disorganized Confederates tumbled from the woods to your left, driven by a powerful Union assault. As the Confederates swept past, only General Lee, his staff, and some 12 cannon stood between the Union army and Confederate disaster.

Southern reinforcements under Longstreet were on the way, but would they arrive in time to prevent Lee’s destruction? Lee fretted as he rarely had. The Confederate artillery fired furiously but only slowed the Federals. Then, as the Union troops advanced into this field, the Texas Brigade, the first of Longstreet’s corps, trotted eastward up the Plank Road.

Lee rode to the head of the column, intent on personally leading it into battle, but the Texans stopped him. “Lee to the rear!” they shouted refusing to move forward until the general retreated to safety. He did, and they moved forward – commencing a counterattack that would drive the Federals away.
 
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Historical Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 17.666′ N, 77° 43.485′ 
Close Up of the Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
2. Close Up of the Map
W. Marker is near Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is on Hill-Ewell Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in the Wilderness Battlefield at Tour Stop 6. Marker is in this post office area: Spotsylvania VA 22551, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Widow Tapp’s Field (here, next to this marker); Confederate Earthworks (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Widow Tapp House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Texans Attack (approx. 0.2 miles away); Col. James D. Nance (approx. ¼ mile away); Texas (approx. ¼ mile away); Lee to the rear! (approx. ¼ mile away); Wilderness Campaign (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania.
 
More about this marker. The marker features a large picture of Lee leading his men into battle. The upper right of the marker also has a map of the area with the caption The Tapp field today. A half-mile trail leads to key sites, including the site of Widow Tapp’s house, Confederate earthworks, and the Texas Brigade memorial.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Wilderness Battlefield - Widow Tapp Fields virtual tour by markers.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of the Wilderness.
Markers at Tapp Field Tour Stop image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
3. Markers at Tapp Field Tour Stop
This field was where Gen. Lee attempted to lead the newly arrived Texas Brigade in a counter attack against the Union. The Texans, however, would not fight unless Lee move to a safer location.
(Submitted on March 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. General Lee To The Rear!. An account appearing in the Southern Historical Society Papers, from 1 (Submitted on March 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Portion of the Confederate First Corps Line image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
4. Portion of the Confederate First Corps Line
Near the location of the "Lee to the Rear" incident, trenches still extend across the Widow Tapp fields where the Confederate First Corps dug their defenses.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,345 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   2. submitted on March 9, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on March 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on March 9, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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