Tally Farm Ridge
On May 2, 1863, approximately three miles west of a
crossroads called Chancellorsville, Stonewall Jackson launched a daring
attack against Federal troops of the Union Eleventh Corps. On March 23,
2004, more than 140 years later, the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust
closed on 16.37 acres of this ground, to preserve it in perpetuity. This
acquisition is one of several the Trust has been pursuing and we are pleased
to announce that this particular purchase has finally been made. The
physical setting is a portion of the Talley Farm ridge, just south of the
old Orange Turnpike (modern State Route 3).
The purchase price for this acreage is $200,000.
The historic significance of this newly acquired dirt and grass is related to battle action on the afternoon of May 2, 1863. The Union Eleventh Corps, as the far right of the Union army, held a line running along the Orange Turnpike. The Federal command’s inattention, however, left these formations poorly deployed and unsupported. These deficiencies became all too apparent when the Confederates struck. The ground we have obtained was occupied by the 74th Pennsylvania Infantry, of Brigadier General Alexander Schimmelfennig’s brigade, (Major General Carl Shurz’s division). To their right was the 17th Connecticut Infantry, of Brigadier General Nathaniel McLean’s brigade, (Brigadier General Charles Devens’ division). In the seam between these two units, artillerymen of the 13th New York Independent Battery brought some guns into the line, pointing the cannon south.
In the late afternoon, Jackson’s howling Confederates broke out of the woods to the west. The sudden attack caught most of the Federal troops, including the ones on this property, unprepared. McLean’s brigade, whose troops called themselves the Ohio Brigade despite the newly assigned 17th Connecticut in their midst, rallied briefly at the Talley House. The Confederate pressure was relentless, though, and the infantry soon fled east. Four guns of the 13th New York Independent Battery were captured without having fired a shot.
The fighting on this land was brief, but very intense. As the Southerners passed through, they left the dead, the dying, and the wounded in their wake.
Donations may be sent to: CVBT, PO Box 3417, Fredericksburg, VA 22402. You may also donate online using our secure server.
Updated: October 17, 2006