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

Struggle for the Bloody Angle

The Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse

 
 
Struggle for the Bloody Angle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 23, 2013
1. Struggle for the Bloody Angle Marker
Inscription. For 22 hours combat raged on the landscape in front of you. Although the fighting extended for half a mile, the battle focused on (and became identified with) a slight bend in the Confederate lines known thereafter as the Bloody Angle. The fighting here consisted of sustained, close-range rifle fire punctuated by Union attempts to storm the Confederate works.

So heavy was the rifle fire that a 22-inch oak tree was felled by the impact of bullets alone. Bodies piled up in the rain-filled trenches, the living sometimes buried beneath the dead. After the battle, men were found torn by dozens of bullets. One man had 11 bullets though the soles of his feet alone. Another was so mutilated that friends could identify him only by the unusual color of his beard. It was carnage on an unimaginable scale.

The question became, pretty plainly, whether one was willing to meet death, not merely to run the chances of it.
Lieutenant James F. J. Caldwell
1st South Carolina Infantry

(captions)
Called by one modem observer the “signature artifact of America’s military experience,” the stump of the Bloody Angle oak is on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

“Strike for God and Country,” by Don Stivers. Used with permission.
 
Erected by
Struggle for the Bloody Angle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 23, 2013
2. Struggle for the Bloody Angle Marker
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
 
Location. 38° 13.414′ N, 77° 35.967′ 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. The Confederate Earthworks (here, next to this marker); "The Toughest Fight Yet" (within shouting distance of this marker); 15th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers (within shouting distance of this marker); 49th New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Spotsylvania Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); McGowan's Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Aftermath (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). 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
 
Spotsylvania Tree Stump image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 3, 2009
3. Spotsylvania Tree Stump
On display at the American History Museum, Smithsonian, in Washington, D.C.
 
 
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 420 times since then and 48 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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