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

The Muleshoe Salient

The Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse

 
 
The Muleshoe Salient Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 23, 2013
1. The Muleshoe Salient Marker
Inscription. One hundred and fifty yards ahead of you is the Bloody Angle, perhaps the most hallowed site on any Civil War battlefield. The Bloody Angle is a small bend in the Confederate works within the much larger Muleshoe Salient, a huge outward bulge in the center of General Robert E. Lee’s six-mile long defensive line. For 22 hours on May 12 and May 13, 1864, combat raged here.

Confederate troops created the Muleshoe on the night of May 8, 1864, while attempting to weave together two lines of earthworks that ran at right angles to one another. Lee recognized that it was inherently weak—subject to Converging fire from many directions. To bolster the line, he constructed stout trenches, fortifying them with upwards of 30 cannon. Even so, the Salient remained his most vulnerable point—a fact bloodily demonstrated on May 12, 1864.

This is a wretched line. I do not see how it can be held!
General Robert E. Lee
May 9, 1864

(captions)
Salients, like the Muleshoe, subject their defenders to a deadly, converging crossfire.
In the event the enemy breaks through, defenders find themselves being attacked in both front and rear.

Fraises—sharpened branches like these—obstructed Union the advance on the Muleshoe Salient.
 
Erected by
The Muleshoe Salient Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 23, 2013
2. The Muleshoe Salient Marker
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
 
Location. 38° 13.408′ N, 77° 36.079′ W. Marker is in Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Grant Drive north of Anderson Drive, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. 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. Spotsylvania Campaign (a few steps from this marker); Attack on the Muleshoe (within shouting distance of this marker); Bloody Angle, Crowded Ravine (within shouting distance of this marker); Aftermath (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 49th New York Infantry (about 400 feet away); McGowan's Brigade (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania.
 
Also see . . .  Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. (Submitted on June 24, 2013.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Confederate entrenchments near 5035 (junction of old and new Court House Roads) image. Click for full size.
By G.O. Brown, circa 1865
3. Confederate entrenchments near 5035 (junction of old and new Court House Roads)
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-ppmsca-32879]
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 24, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 456 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 24, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   3. submitted on June 24, 2013.
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