"We Fought Desperately"

"We Fought Desperately" (HM9XS)

Location: Petersburg, VA 23803
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 10.955', W 77° 28.34'

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The Breakthrough Trail

— Pamplin Historical Park —

The passage of the picket posts and abatis shattered regimental formations in the Vermont Brigade. The attack degenerated into a rush of disorganized men rather than an example of textbook tactics. Orderly Sergeant Thomas H. McCauley of the 2nd Vermont bore the brigade flag at the head of this mass of determined soldiers.

The bluecoats tumbled into the moat and then scaled the steep walls of the Confederate line. Troops from the 18th and 37th North Carolina awaited them along with cannoneers manning the guns in the artillery position in front of you. "We fought desperately, but our thin line was pushed back by sheer force of numbers until it was broken in pieces," remembered on Tarheel officer.

As other Federal brigades reached the Confederate works on either side of the Vermonters, a brief but bitter hand-to-hand battle raged along nearly a mile of the ramparts. Clubbed muskets and bayonets thrusts characterized this awful melee. Northern and Southern soldiers displayed equal and admirable bravery, but inevitably, the superior Union numbers spelled the difference. Hundreds of Confederate troops surrendered while others retreated through the abandoned winter huts of McGowan's Brigade seeking safety in the rear. By 5:15 a.m., the Stars and Stripes flew above the Confederate works.
HM NumberHM9XS
Placed ByPamplin Historical Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 7:25pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280530 N 4117989
Decimal Degrees37.18258333, -77.47233333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 10.955', W 77° 28.34'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 10' 57.30" N, 77° 28' 20.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804, 434, 757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6411 Duncan Rd, Petersburg VA 23803, US
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