The Confederate Line

The Confederate Line (HM1DTJ)

Location: Locust Grove, VA 22508 Orange County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 18.963', W 77° 45.548'

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The Battle of the Wilderness

Dick Ewell was raring for a fight. When a subordinate approached him early on May 5, 1864, and asked Ewell about his orders, the balding, pop-eyed general piped up cheerily: "... Just the orders I like - to go right down the [turnpike] and strike the enemy wherever I find him."

Ewell made contact with the Union army here at Saunders Field. Deploying in line of battle across the turnpike, the Confederates began to entrench using knives, bayonets, shovels made from canteen halves, or whatever other tools they could find. The earthen mounds around you are a remnant of their handiwork.

For two days Ewell's men stubbornly defended this ridge against attacks by the Union Fifth and Sixth corps. Unable to dent Ewell's strong position here along the turnpike, Grant turned his attention south, to the Orange Plank Road. It was there that the battle was decided.

"A bayonet served to loosen the dirt, and the shovels followed after. Our men were good woodcutters and were not slow to fell trees as the basis for the works .... It was surprising to see how hastily they threw up trenches in a night and even in a few hours." - Assistant Surgeon Thomas F. Wood, 3rd North Carolina Infantry
Placed ByFredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 9:10pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 258777 N 4244484
Decimal Degrees38.31605000, -77.75913333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 18.963', W 77° 45.548'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 18' 57.78" N, 77° 45' 32.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 625-633 Hill Ewell Dr, Locust Grove VA 22508, US
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