Night-time Horror

Night-time Horror (HM24FU)

Location: Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA 22553 Spotsylvania County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 18.44', W 77° 39.128'

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The Battle of Chancellorsville

Civil war combat rarely continued after dark, but on the night of May 2, 1863, desperation and fear filled these gloomy woods. At midnight, about 3,000 Union soldiers of Brigadier General David B. Birney's division moved through these woods, intent on retaking the Orange Plank Road and re-establishing contact with the rest of the Union army. In this area, Birney's men collided with skirmishers of General James Lane's North Carolina brigade.

Blinding sheets of musketry tore through the dark woods. Unable to see, Union soldiers fired into their own men. Both Union and Confederate artillery shells ripped indiscriminately through the timber. Birney's men panicked. They fell back to Hazel Grove, their mission not accomplished. In the morning they would be called upon to fight again, in a battle far more terrible and costly than any they had endured.

"The scare wasn't confined to the privates. Officers dodged hither and thither, some of them so frightened that they couldn't have told their names."
Private John Haley, 17th Maine

(map caption)
Believing that the uproar here signaled a Confederate attack, Union cannons at Fairview randomly shelled these woods, killing friend and foe alike. "The lightening flash of batteries, the roaring of artillery, the crashing of timber...was a spectacle of be seen and heard that night—more easily imagined than described," wrote one Union officer.
HM NumberHM24FU
Placed ByFredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 10:02am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 268105 N 4243243
Decimal Degrees38.30733333, -77.65213333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 18.44', W 77° 39.128'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 18' 26.4" N, 77° 39' 7.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Stuart Dr, Spotsylvania Courthouse VA 22553, US
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