Several of you have asked for a little more information regarding the positions covered in this and another similar article. We will be making another field trip out to the battlefield in the next few weeks and hope to be able to provide more detailed information about these locations. Just be aware that most of them are not right beside the park trails.
Went out and took more pictures Saturday to add to the coming third part of the article on the guns at the West Angle. While the leaves do make discerning the actual emplacements difficult to make out, I hope you will see them as somewhat interesting.
In answer to a question by a reader, Almost all of the excavations show that they are oriented so that they are aimed roughly in the direction of the park visitor center. There was a significant amount of Federal artillery to the right of there. Those guns evidently annoyed the Confederates in this area a great deal.
Note all directions are given from the Confederate point of view.
Approaching the West Angle, behind the line from the East Angle. some of the Federals would have certainly taken this route.
Almost the reverse view of the previous picture. From the low point in the line, looking in the direction of the East Angle.
Small “infantry” (?) position on the reverse slope to the right of the West Angle. Oriented as I mentioned toward the Visitors center.
In the low ground between the West Angle and Dole’s Salient. Again an infantry position? Now it directly faves the line, but still toward the visitor center.
a bit out of focus, trying to show interior and exterior ditching, very shallow horseshoe. Behind the second line, basically facing directly toward the line. The large positions behind the second line are an exception. They directly face the line, not the visitors center.
small slit trench.
larger reverse slope position to the right of the West Angle.
up the hill to the left of the East Angle breastworks. Probably close to the point where the Federals first broke over the line. To the left of Carter’s battery going into position.
Coming out of the ravine that Carrington wanted to have one of the batteries moved to cover. This is also probably close to the spot Ward sketched in his famous work. West Angle in the distance.
looking along the face of the Confederate works between the East and West Angles. Notice how it dips and rises as it follows the terrain.
looking along the Confederate line from the area around the East Angle toward the right. Witcher’s right would probably have joined Steuart’s left in the middle ground.
From near the area where the Federals broke across the works first. Looking at the way the Federals approached. Notice how when first seen they would have been out of range. When they finally appeared the range would have been fairly close.
The view Sgt. Maj. Fiske Davis’ and his gun crew would have had. Looking down the hill from the West Angle. The marker for the large oak tree in the foreground. That tree stood at the end of one of the traverses by their gun.
looking to the right rear from the West Angle. Note the ground sloping away. This slope would have provided protection from Union fire but it also prevented the Federals from being seen as they approached after breaking into the Salient.
Looking toward the West Angle from the low ground of the trenches to the left of the McCoul Lane. Ramseur’s troops would come to regret the elevation difference during their counterattack.
Very interesting position to the left of the McCoul Lane. Unique to the area. Notice the significant parapet, and a large hole a separation and then a smaller one to its side. Very well-preserved.
Another reverse slope position to the right of the West Angle. Oriented as are the others toward the Visitor center.
As you have seen there are a lot of things to be seen when exploring the park. What is so fascinating to me is how many there are in a small area. And large areas where there is nothing. Is this a case of post war agriculture? Or that in some areas they didn’t feel the need to dig in?