The Confederate Line

The Confederate Line (HM6P9)

Location: Spotsylvania, VA 22553 Spotsylvania County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 13.361', W 77° 35.747'

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— Battle of Spotsylvania Court House —

The landscape in front of you bears vivid testimony to the nature of fighting here in May 1864. At Spotsylvania, not only did soldiers build stout dirt and log works to protect them from fire in front, but they also built shorter trenches called traverses to protect them from enemy cross fire (a circumstance common on this part of the line). These traverses extend back from the main line like teeth on a comb. Soldiers came to call the three-sided enclosures "hog pens."

Remains of those hog pens survive beyond the main earthwork in front of you. After the fighting here on May 12, the Union army incorporated the Confederate-built works into their own line. Today the combined works make up an almost incomprehensible tangle - one that makes little sense to a military scientist, but one that made perfect sense to men struggling for life under fire.

"Keeping around the western end of [the woods], we came to a strange medley of intrenchments, which it would have required an engineer to unravel and understand. Here Grant's works had been pushed up against Lee's, swallowing them as one wave swallows another."
a battlefield visitor, 1866
HM NumberHM6P9
Placed ByFredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park - National Park Service - U.S. Dept. of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 4:10am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 272769 N 4233708
Decimal Degrees38.22268333, -77.59578333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 13.361', W 77° 35.747'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 13' 21.66" N, 77° 35' 44.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1 Bloody Angle Dr, Spotsylvania VA 22553, US
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