At Ease: Spotsylvania - Does Upton Win Ranking Again?
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House resulted in two weeks of battle and maneuvers as the Army of the Potomac and Army of North Virginia probed, attacked, retrenched, and fought fiercely around a tiny, crossroads community in Central Virginia. The battle, fought May 8-21, 1864, ended with both sides claiming victory, but Lee moved south again and Grant pursued through another extended flanking movement. Through the years, you have worked with Central Virginia Battlefields Trust to save over 134 acres of hallowed ground at Spotsylvania. Thank you for your support. Today, we invite you to spend some time "at ease" and looking at Spotsylvania history, a few photos, a new video, and—of course—the survey results for the generals at this battle.
And it's the "new general" at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House winning last week's survey:
Emory Upton's promotion to brigadier general was dated May 12, 1864, and came as a direct result of his leadership earlier during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Two days prior—on May 10—Upton lead an innovative, massed column attack with twelve regiments against the Confederate's Mule Shoe salient. His men pierced through the earthwork fortifications but were unsupported and unable to hold their captured ground.
Prior to the attack, a staff officer said to Upton: "Upton, you are to lead those men upon the enemy's works this afternoon—and if you do not carry them, you are not expected to come back. But if you carry them, I am authorized to say that you will get your stars." He won his brigadier star through the attack.
Robert E. Lee held second place in the Spotsylvania survey. As commander of the Army of Northern Virginia during this battle, Lee shifted troops and worked with his division and brigade commanders to hold the earthworks and counterattack against the Federal breakthroughs. At the end of the battle, he slipped the army south again, heading for the North Anna River.
In third place on the survey, John B. Gordon took a crucial role in the Confederate situation at Spotsylvania. On May 12, he established a new defensive line and helped organize the counterattacks back into the Mule Shoe and Bloody Angle after the surprise attack in the morning.
CVBT's New Spotsylvania Video
Check out the new overview video we've created about the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House and highlights of our preservation at this battlefield.
On Spotsylvania Battlefield
Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield is in full spring bloom these days. If you're out practicing social distancing and still getting some daily fresh air and live locally, take a walk within the National Park or Harris Farm. Harris Farm One of the CVBT battlefield sites always accessible for visitors, the property at Harris Farm is off Route 208 and includes Civil War Trails signs. A monument placed by veterans of 1st Massachusetts Artillery stands on the 4.9 acres of the May 18th battlefield which marked one of the last major Confederate offensive maneuvers The Angle Within the boundaries of the National Park, there are numerous trails to explore. The Angle was the scene of the terrible fighting during the battle and now has trails, monuments, and markers to explore. If you're feeling ready for a longer walk, follow the trails across the fields and explore the site of the Landram Farm and the rise of ground where Union II Corps Generals watched the May 12 attacks.
Central Virginia Battlefields Trust's mission is to preserve, protect, and educate about Civil War hallowed ground at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania.