The Union Center

The Union Center (HMEHK)

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

N 38° 18.162', W 77° 38.468'

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The Battle of Chancellorsville

Upon reaching Chancellorsville on April 30, 1863, General Joseph Hooker deployed the Army of the Potomac in a defensive perimeter around the intersection. General Henry W. Slocum's Twelfth Corps held the center of the Union line. For three days his troops entrenched, creating a sturdy earthwork screened by the line of fallen trees known as an abatis. The trench in front of you is a remnant of that fortified line.

At first the Confederates did not test Slocum's position, but on May 3 Lee ordered a general assault. While Virginians led by General William Mahone attacked these works in front, Confederate artillery on the Orange Plank Road and at Hazel Grove sent shells screeching into Slocum's line from the rear. The Twelfth Corps gamely held its ground, but as the hours passed, its supply of ammunition ran low. At 9 a.m., Slocum ordered a retreat.

"During the night, [I] received instructions to fell the timber in front for the purpose of forming an abatis, which was improved on afterward by the men building a breastwork, and throwing the dirt up with bayonets, swords, tin plates, and many using nothing but their hands, completing an intrenchment which resisted repeated attacks of the enemy in front."
Colonel Charles Candy, Twelfth Corps
Placed ByFredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 8:38am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 269052 N 4242701
Decimal Degrees38.30270000, -77.64113333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 18.162', W 77° 38.468'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 18' 9.72" N, 77° 38' 28.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 775-799 Slocum Dr, Spotsylvania VA 22553, US
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