A Mass Capture

A Mass Capture (HMFSS)

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

N 38° 13.289', W 77° 35.651'

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Inscription

— Battle of Spotsylvania Court House —

As the first rays of daylight filtered through the rain-drenched woods here on May 12, the men of General George H. Steuart's brigade heard a commotion up the line, to their left. Moments later, through the shifting mists, they saw a human tidal wave: 20,000 Union soldiers of General Winfield S. Hancock's Union Second Corps sweeping down the lines to their left and rear. Surprised and defenseless, more than 3,000 Confederate soldiers had little choice but to surrender - one of the largest battlefield captures of the war.

Among the captives were General Steuart and his superior, General Edward Johnson. Steuart was standing beside an artillery battery in this vicinity when the Federals appeared. As the cannon next to him recoiled, its trail struck the general, knocking him to the ground. Before he could regain his feet, Hancock's men were swarming around him. Steuart was a prisoner. He and Johnson would spend three months in Union captivity.

After their capture, Steuart and Johnson were hustled back to Hancock's headquarters at the Landram house. Hancock knew both Johnson and Stuart from pre-war days. Johnson readily shook his captor's hand, but Steuart refused, saying, "Under the circumstances, I decline to take your hand."

An angry Hancock shot back: "And under any other circumstances I should not have offered it."

Placed under the guard of African-American soldiers, the two generals began the trek to Union prison camps. Hancock provided Johnson with an ambulance. Steuart walked.
Details
HM NumberHMFSS
Tags
Placed ByFredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park - National Park Service - U.S. Dept. of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 12:40am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 272905 N 4233571
Decimal Degrees38.22148333, -77.59418333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 13.289', W 77° 35.651'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 13' 17.34" N, 77° 35' 39.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 201-299 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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