"A Determination That Knew No Such Word as Fail"

"A Determination That Knew No Such Word as Fail" (HM9Y5)

Location: Petersburg, VA 23803
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 10.844', W 77° 28.246'

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The Breakthrough Trail

— Pamplin Historical Park —

As the Vermonters pushed closer to the Confederate fortifications, they encountered the multiple rows of obstructions specifically designed to pin down an attacking force. Here, the Confederates extracted a terrible toll on the desperate Federals, who struggled to find their way through the tangled tree limbs while absorbing a deadly fire from the enemy line.

"With a cheer we went on getting through the abatis the best we could," remembered Lieutenant Robert Pratt of the 5th Vermont. When 19-year-old Lieutenant Gardner C. Hawkins of the 3rd Vermont noticed that his men were wavering under the unceasing hail of lead and iron, he sprang forward and flashed his sword dramatically, urging the troops to maintain the momentum and continue the charge. "The effect upon the regiment if not upon other regiments of the brigade was very pointed and decisive," testified one Vermonter. Shortly after rallying his men, Hawkins received a hideous wound to the face, the minie ball entering the right side of his nose, passing into his head, and exiting out through his left eye, carving a gouge down his left ear and cheek. Despite his injury, Hawkins refused to leave the battlefield.

At last, the bluecoats tore away the obstructions allowing them to renew their advance towards their immediate goal several hundred yards ahead of them. These survivors mustered their courage and plunged forward into the Confederate line with, according to Captain Merritt Barber, "a determination that knew no such word as fail."
HM NumberHM9Y5
Placed ByPamplin Historical Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 3:46pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280663 N 4117781
Decimal Degrees37.18073333, -77.47076667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 10.844', W 77° 28.246'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 10' 50.64" N, 77° 28' 14.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804, 434, 757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6411 Duncan Rd, Petersburg VA 23803, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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