The Canal Ditch

The Canal Ditch (HM1G)

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 22401
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 17.941', W 77° 27.901'

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The post-Civil War street in front of you, Kenmore Avenue, covers a wartime millrace or canal ditch. On December 13, 1862, the ditch became a maddening obstacle to Union soldiers advancing against Marye's Heights. Five feet deep, 15 feet wide, and filled with frigid water, it could only be crossed on three battered bridges. As the Federals funneled across the waterway, they were pummeled by Confederate artillery.

Once across the ditch, the Federals formed in the shelter of a slight bluff, then charged the Sunken Road and Marye's Heights. By the end of the day more than 1,000 Union soldiers lay dead on the plain that stretches out before you. Seven thousand more were wounded or captured. "It was a great slaughter-pen...they might as well have tried to take Hell."

(Sidebar Quote):
"It can hardly be in human nature for men to show more valor, or generals to manifest less judgment, than were perceptible on our side that day."
—The Cincinnati Commercial
HM NumberHM1G
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 2:54am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 284444 N 4241867
Decimal Degrees38.29901667, -77.46501667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 17.941', W 77° 27.901'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 17' 56.46" N, 77° 27' 54.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 600-698 Hanover St, Fredericksburg VA 22401, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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