Battle of Williamsburg

Battle of Williamsburg (HM6OI)

Location: Williamsburg, VA 23185
Country: United States of America

N 37° 15.594', W 76° 40.409'

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The Bloody Ravine

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

A critical part of the Battle of Williamsburg took place here on May 5, 1862. Union troops occupied the ridge to your right across present-day U.S. Route 60. The Confederate line of redoubts stood to your left on the ridge to the west. Felled timber on the ridge created clear fields of fire for the Confederates, and the intertwined branches (called abatis) obstructed the Federal attack. The railroad did not then exist, and this area was heavily wooded.

The battle began when Union Gen. George B.McClellan's Army of the Potomac encountered the rear guard of Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army retreating up the Peninsula toward Richmond. The Confederates intended to fight a delaying action, but it soon escalated into a major engagement. By 8 A.M., Union Gen. Joseph Hooker's attack on Fort Magruder had spread to this position, and intense fighting against Confederate Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox's brigade occurred in this valley, which was later called the "bloody ravine."

By midday, Confederate field commander Gen. James Longstreet had committed the reserves. Virginia regiments under Gens. A.P. Hill and George Pickett advanced from Redoubts 2, 3, and 4, near the modern hotels directly in front of you and forced the Federals back to where you are standing. At 3 P.M., Union Gen. Philip Kearny arrived with reinforcements and the battle ended with both sides in approximately their original positions. The Confederates abandoned their redoubts that night and continued their withdrawal toward Richmond. McClellan wired Washington, "The victory is complete," but Johnston later retorted, "Had the enemy beaten us on the fifth ? our army would have lost most of its baggage and artillery."
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Details
HM NumberHM6OI
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Tags
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 4:24am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 351602 N 4125016
Decimal Degrees37.25990000, -76.67348333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 15.594', W 76° 40.409'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 15' 35.64" N, 76° 40' 24.54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757, 202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 7101-7155 US-60, Williamsburg VA 23185, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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