Hell Itself

Hell Itself (HM4N3)

Location: Spotsylvania, VA 22551 Spotsylvania County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 18.009', W 77° 42.568'

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The Battle of the Wilderness

The Wilderness of today looks different than it did in 1864. Then it was a patchwork of second-growth forest. Brush obscured, briars grabbed, and thickets disrupted the battle lines. One solder described the combat here as "bushwhacking...on a grand scale." For men accustomed to fighting in open woods and fields, the tangled landscape of the Wilderness translated into sheer horror.

Smoke from thousands of rifles hovered motionless in the air, choking the combatants. Enemy lines rose up, fired a volley, then disappeared into the haze. Many men never even saw their foes; they simply fired at muzzle flashes in the undergrowth. When the dry leaves caught fire, wounded soldiers burned to death. To a Union officer it seemed that "Hell itself had usurped the place of earth."

The woods would light up with the flashes of musketry, as if with lightning, while the incessant roar of the volleys sounded like the crashing of thunder-bolts. Brave men were falling like autumn leaves, and death was holding high carnival in our ranks."
Lieutenant Robert Robertson, Union staff officer.
HM NumberHM4N3
Placed ByFredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:13am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 263068 N 4242591
Decimal Degrees38.30015000, -77.70946667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 18.009', W 77° 42.568'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 18' 0.54" N, 77° 42' 34.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10267 State Rte 621, Spotsylvania VA 22551, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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