A short video of the line behind Doles Salient – (with video now) (updated 1/09/15)

On Sunday Dec 28 had the opportunity to spend a few hours on the field with John Cummings and James Anderson. Fortunately the park had mown the open areas recently and there was much to see.
This series of short videos show the remains of the second line of Confederate works which began at what we call today the re-entrant line on the left of Dole’s Salient, ran back a short ways then by running along the reverse slope ran across the McCoull field to and beyond the West McCoull Lane.

This line played a significant role in both the battles of May 10 as well that of May 12. A Lieutenant of the 33rd Virginia wrote that it was not completed until a “line of rifle pits” was dug at around 2 PM on May 11. Since that addition ran behind the left hand regiments of the Stonewall Brigade perhaps the men of Rodes Division had dug the initial line.


In both the second and third video I mistakenly refer to the Ramseur Monument as the McGowen monument. Perhaps in the future I will figure out how to edit the audio.

Also I claim no style points for my fall in the last section.



The beginning of the line at the Re-entrant was shot on a different day and will be in a separate post.

hows the bulk of the remaining second line works.


About Russ

Avid student of military history as well as amateur historian. Has a keen interest in archaeology. Founded his company Roadraceparts.com in 2004.
This entry was posted in 1864, American Civil War, Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Battle of the Muleshoe, Bloody Angle, Doles Salient, Earthworks and trenchs, field fortifications, Mule Shoe, Overland Campaign 1864, Uncategorized, Upton's Charge and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A short video of the line behind Doles Salient – (with video now) (updated 1/09/15)

  1. Jim Kirk says:

    Can’t find the link to open the video. Spotsylvania is my favorite battlefield to visit.


    • Russ says:

      Jim. Alas I took the videos using my tablet, which for some reason has quit communicating with the PC. Hopefully it is a minor problem that Can be rectified, as I don’t want to buy a separate video camera.May take a while though to find someone willing to take the time to fix the problem.
      The second line is interesting to look at in detail. Originally it connected with what we call the re entrant line and was probably just a rifle trench. We do know that it was extended on the afternoon of the 11th. Think we can surmiss from the construction where that extension began. The video will show that so please be patient.


  2. Miles Krisman says:

    Very informative Russ!

    Could the knolls that cross the line at intervals be evidence of a former traverse?


    • Russ says:

      Miles, I don’t think there is any indication that there are traverses, at least until you reach the point where it parallels today’s woods. And even there I would have to take a closer look.
      We do know that there was a “line of rifle pits” built behind the 33rd va at 2 pm on the 11th. SO, my suspicion is that everything to the left of that point was built by Rodes people prior to the 10th.
      Where was that point? Is it at the bend out in the field? Possibly. But there is probably a distinguishing feature
      Also look at the differance between the works in the field and those l/r of the McCoull Lane


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