This rising ground, called Fall Hill, anchored an extensive line of Confederate earthworks. In addition to this trench, there were supporting artillery lunettes on tip of the hill and similar pits to the left and right. These various fortified positions were connected by interlocking fields of fire, to halt an assaulting force advancing up Fall Hill. The avenue of attack would have been p the ravines, where the terrain provided a level of protection.
Confederates manned these earthworks during the December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg and endured intense artillery fire from across the river. On May 3, 1863, during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, Federal troops occupied these trenches, and were supported by the artillery in position across the river. The next day, May 4, Confederates advanced up the ravine on the opposite side of this road, which forced the Union troops here to withdraw.
There are two maps pictured on the marker. The map on the left is captioned, "This trench was a component of a larger network of earthworks that included artillery positions as well as these rifle pits. Surviving earthworks are shown in red; lost earthworks are in green."
The map on the right is captioned, "Confederate earthworks extended across a range of hills behind the town of Fredericksburg, creating a line that
was nearly seven miles in length. This hill comprised its north end, at the Rappahannock River."