One of the points that was discussed on our field trip this past weekend was the formation of the Mule Shoe. What was the shape of the original line ? When and why was it changed?
The consensus was that originally there was no “Mule Shoe”. That feature was the result of a Confederate reaction to the position of the Federal Ninth Corps in front of the Courthouse.
Above is a Google Earth photo of a line of works that extends northward from the face of the Quadrilateral, to its left, toward the river. While certainly it was used by the Federals on the 12th and perhaps again on the 18th there are other interesting features. Easily visible are traverses which by the location would have only been built by Confederates.
The construction of the Mule Shoe, its strengths and its defects will be the subject of an article in the near future.