The Confederate Earthworks

The Confederate Earthworks (HM191L)

Location: Spotsylvania, VA 22553 Spotsylvania County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 13.415', W 77° 35.968'

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The Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse

These modest mounds are all that remain of the Muleshoe Salient's once-formidable earthworks. Begun by the Confederates on the night of May 8, the works were four feet high, with a two-foot-deep trench. Dirt from the trench was thrown against the outer face of the logs to create a bulletproof barrier. As an added measure of safety, the defenders left a small gap beneath the top log through which they could fire without exposing their heads.

Because of the Salient's curved shape, Confederates here were exposed not only to bullets coming from the front but also from the sides. To protect themselves from enemy crossfire, they constructed a series of shorter barriers, called traverses, at right angles to the main line. Although the traverses have largely disappeared, evidence of them can still be seen in the rumpled contour of the ground.

They had felled timber and constructed excellent earthworks, somewhat after the style of building a log house with earth well thrown up in front. This line of fortifications was divided off, therefore, like stalls in a stable, the compartments being formed by the timbers which supported the other timbers, which with the earth constituted a splendid protection for the men behind them.
Lieutenant Harvey S. Wells, 84th Pennsylvania Volunteers

Walking on earthworks destroys them. Please help the National Park Service preserve these and other earthworks by remaining on the trail.
HM NumberHM191L
Placed ByFredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 5:54am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 272449 N 4233817
Decimal Degrees38.22358333, -77.59946667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 13.415', W 77° 35.968'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 13' 24.90" N, 77° 35' 58.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 200-204 Bloody Angle Dr, Spotsylvania VA 22553, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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