Was this really a Federal Line?


Went out on Monday morning and shot a video of the inner of the two lines shown in the screen grab above. This line has been historically considered to be a line built by the Federals sometime during their occupation of the area after the initial charge of May 12. They would have incorporated it into the main Confederate line which they had turned, particularly on the East Face.

However I believe, much more so having shot the video that it was originally Confederate, built on the higher ground to overcome some of the disadvantages of the original line. The video was shot on the fly, and is unscripted, which is painfully obvious.

Before we can accept the fact that it is Confederate there are a couple of questions that need to be answered. First and foremost perhaps is the lack of traverses, particularly on the southern end. The men of Steuart’s brigade along the east face were so troubled by Federal artillery on their left that they built walls on the rear and created little forts side by side along their line. Yet  there are none here, why?

Secondly if it is Confederate when was it built? Before or after the outer or “main” line? Since there are no gaps in this line, no vehichles would have crossed it after it was built. So that would imply that it was built when the line was refused on the instruction of the engineers. Or, perhaps after Upton’s success and the inspection by Lee and martin Smith the following day. At this point we have no information to tell us either way.


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 American Civil War, Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Bloody Angle, Earthworks and trenchs, field fortifications, Hancock's assault on the Muleshoe, Mule Shoe, Overland Campaign 1864, Steuart's Brigade, West Angle and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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