Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House


The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House sometimes more simply referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania (or the 19th century spelling Spottsylvania) was the second major battle in Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War. Following the bloody but inconclusive Battle of the Wilderness Grant's army disengaged from Confederate General Robert E. Lee's army and moved to the southeast attempting to lure Lee into battle under more favorable conditions. Elements of Lee's army beat the Union army to the critical crossroads of Spotsylvania Court House and began entrenching. Fighting occurred on and off from May 8 through May 21 1864 as Grant tried various schemes to break the Confederate line. In the end the battle was tactically inconclusive but with almost 32000 casualties on both sides it was the costliest battle of the campaign.

Stories about Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

Toughest Fight Yet

    Artist Alfred R. Waud sketched these Union soldiers under fire here on May 12, 1864. Lee’s counterattacks had driven the Union troops out of the Muleshoe, and here they are shown under cover on the outside of the Confederate trenches. Waud’s perspective was just a few feet from where you are now standing. It is the most immediate depiction of the fighting near the Bloody Angle that day. Waud labeled his sketch, “The toughest fight yet.”

    In the image, the fighting rages most intensely to the right, the white smoke marks what would become known as the Bloody Angle. Amid the smoke stands a baffle-scarred oak, 22 inches in diameter, which would fall later in the day, cut down by small- arms fire. In the foreground, Union troops huddle up against the Confederate works amidst the carnage of earlier fighting.

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    Additional Info
    bruceyrock632 - Anyone can contribute
    01 Nov 2014
    04 Mar 2016
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