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

Attack on the Muleshoe

The Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse

 
 
Attack on the Muleshoe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 23, 2013
1. Attack on the Muleshoe Marker
Inscription. Like Lee, General Ulysses S. Grant recognized the Muleshoe’s weakness and made plans to exploit it. On May 12, just after dawn, 20,000 men of General Winfield S. Hancock’s Second Corps stormed across the field in front of you—from left to right—and swept over the Confederate works, capturing 3,000 men and 20 cannons. It was one of the most successful Union attacks of the Civil War.

Capture of the Muleshoe nearly cut the Army of Northern Virginia in two, threatening its very existence. Lee counterattacked in a desperate attempt to regain the lost ground, or at least to buy time to build a new line, close to 1,000 yards behind the outer line. For the rest of day, both generals funneled every available man into the Salient. Grant fought to win; Lee to survive. The result was the most violent sustained combat in American history.

Every Confederate realized the desperate situation and every Union soldier knew what was involved. For a time, every soldier was a fiend. The attack was fierce—the resistance fanatical. Corporal John Haley, 17th Maine Volunteers

(caption)
The fighting on May 12 took place in a driving rain. This image shows reinforcements from the Union Sixth Corps fighting from the ravine in front of you.
 
Erected by
Attack on the Muleshoe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 23, 2013
2. Attack on the Muleshoe Marker
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
 
Location. 38° 13.421′ N, 77° 36.048′ 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. Bloody Angle, Crowded Ravine (here, next to this marker); The Muleshoe Salient (within shouting distance of this marker); Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); 126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 49th New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Aftermath (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker). 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
 
View across the valley through which the Federals charged the Muleshoe image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 6, 2014
3. View across the valley through which the Federals charged the Muleshoe
 
 
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 384 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 24, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   3. submitted on April 7, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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