They May Just Look Like Leaves Now – Part Two

Still more of the photos I have taken of various positions along and inside and the Mule Shoe Salient. All were taken during the winter of 2011/12.

taken from inside a position. Standing in the interior ditching.

taken from inside a position. Standing in the interior ditching.

Along the eastern face of the salient. Looking from the leg which runs down to the branch into Reese's Salient.
along the eastern face of the salient. Looking from the leg which runs down to the branch into Reese’s Salient. Reese’s Jeff Davis Artillery occupied this position. Reese’s Salient is the name the late “Bill” Matter and I gave it.

looking outward from one of the emplacements of the righthand section of Reese's battery.
looking outward from one of the emplacements of the righthand section of Reese’s battery.

from the position of the other gun from the right hand section. Note the beautiful field of fire.
from the position of the other gun from the right hand section. Note the beautiful field of fire.

from one of Reese's left hand section guns.
from one of Reese’s left hand section guns. Compare this field of fire to the right hand section.

from the other gun of the left hand section of Reese's Battery.
from the other gun of the left hand section of Reese’s Battery.

looking from the East Angle toward Reese's Salient. The Federals approached roughly along this route.
looking from the East Angle toward Reese’s Salient. The Federals approached roughly along this route.

another view of the first position. Looking along the parapet from left to right.
another view of the first position. Looking along the parapet from left to right.

About Russ

Founded Roadraceparts.com in 2004. Started with used parts and now have a full service parts business specializing in parts for the tube frame TransAm and GT cars. We supply both new and used parts. In addition build and sell Gt cars. Avid amateur historian and has a keen interest in archaeology.
Gallery | This entry was posted in American Civil War, Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Battle of the Muleshoe, Bloody Angle, Hancock's assault on the Muleshoe, Muleshoe, Reese's Battery, West Angle and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to They May Just Look Like Leaves Now – Part Two

  1. Larry G says:

    I’m over at Bloody Angle most every day (walking) and I was delighted to find a blog specifically about the place as I’ve walked virtually all of it to the boundaries in the woods and as an unschooled guy can’t really put the pieces and parts together and was/is looking forward to the smartphone app for this battlefield when it gets done.

    For the pictures, some places I recognize and some I do not because I’m just not sure of the place and orientation. A map with marks locating each photo and the direction it was shot would be marvelous though I certainly would understand that would add to the difficulty of the tasks.

    But at any rate, I thank you for your wonderful efforts in adding to the interpretation of the battlefield.

    Thank You!

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    • Russ says:

      Larry
      Glad you enjoyed the photos. As you certainly can see they are photos I took with little intention of future use other than my own. However I thought to share them in the hope someone would find them interesting.
      You will have seen some of them already from the first post on Reese’s battery. Those are pretty well linked to a Google Earth map. However as you say the rest are not.

      Interestingly the interior of the salient has never been mapped until I took my Garmin out their in Feb and March of this year. Amazing that from 1864 to now nobody has done it, particularly as many of the positions are quite obvious.

      I am getting together a group to go out in November. The purpose is to interpret these very positions and definitely say what each one is. Weather permitting I hope that we can put a GPS coordinate, description of the position, and photo together for each. Orientation can be noted as well. Hopefully that will be of benefit to you and others with similar interest.

      Thanks for your comment and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you again.

      Russ Edwards

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  2. Ted Linton says:

    Wonderful research! Maps very helpful. Always questioned whether the theory the Muleshoe was so deeply penetrated May 12 was the result of “missing” artillery. How interesting the filed of fire was not in the direction of the May 12 attack – throws the venerable “theory” into disarray. From the spot along West McCoull road, it wouldn’t seem possible to provide any coverage to the North which would have been effective against the May 12 attack until some distance after the earthworks had been penetrated.

    Are the batteries discussed among those 20 guns captured May 12? I was surprised to see their proximity along the McCoull road, although it makes perfect sense. Always wondered how any artillery could have been moved any deeper into the salient given the terrain. Last visit 2010 with David Lowe and the “trench nerds”, guide John Cummings. Walked the McCoull road but missed the wonderful earthworks you’ve found.

    Back to point – If these were the May 12 captured guns, do you infer the mapped positions were where captured? This changes my understanding of the extent of the “territory” inside the Muleshoe captured / relinquished by the 2nd and 6th Corps, also how would the pieces have been extracted? West McCoull road? My impressions could very well be wrong, so I’m not challenging you in any way here, just working through it in my mind.

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    • Russ says:

      Ted
      Thank you for the kind words, it has been a labor of love. My mentor was the late William(Bill) Matter, author of “If it takes all Summer”. And an ancestor of mine, 1st Lt. Benjamin C. Maxwell was in command of Tanner’s Battery that morning.
      First some of your questions will be answered with part three of the article on the guns of the West Angle. But as to your other questions.
      The East Angle had been defended by the artillery of Page and Nelson’s Battalions. These guns were withdrawn on the night of the 11th. That combined with the reduction of infantry and the inability of the guns of the West Angle to provide support doomed the line.
      The 8 guns at the West Angle were part of the 20 guns captured. Removal could well have been by the McCoull Lane. However there were enough infantry, and presumably officers horses for them to have been manhandled over the works.
      The proximity to the McCoull lane was twofold, field of fire toward Dole’s Salient, which they knew was vulnerable. As well as Nelson was between the West and East Angle and the lane provided access to the positions from near the McCoull house.
      We intend on going out in Nov. and definitely identifying these positions. They extend along the line past the reconstruction at the end of the second line.
      Sorry if I haven’t answered all the questions , but part three will hopefully do so.
      Thanks again for your comments and if I didn’t answer something shoot me a note “hey dummy…”
      Russ Edwards

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    • Russ says:

      Ted
      One comment I should have included. Robert McAllister, Federal brigade commander wrote that his guns captured an 8-10 gun battery. He ordered his men to send all but two guns across the works, which was done. They loaded the two guns but couldn’t fire them. Doesnt mention them anymore.
      Robert Stiles, whose writing has been to some degree poohpooed, talked about two bronze Napoleons between the lines, that he offered to recover if he could keep them in trade for two iron 3 inch rifles they did not like. The Federals retook them before a deal could be worked out.
      Cutshaw said Stiles must have been in error. Cutshaw and Garber are given credit for working two recaptured guns.
      The point is – if Stiles WAS right, were they the guns McAllister didn’t send across the line? If so they almost certainly were 2 of Carrington’s Napoleon’s. What happened to them?

      Food for thought.
      Russ

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