“Stonewall Brigade” lines out in the McCoull Field – updated 6/01/17

The following day, the 11th work continued all along the line. Not only work to improve the defenses but also a realignment of troops. The Louisianans of Harry Hayes old brigade were moved from their position near the East Angle to take Doles position. (C) The attack the previous afternoon had highlighted weaknesses all along the line. In the front line work began on traverses, strategically placed to provide flank protection for the defenders. It was also realized that a backup line was needed. So, back behind the line, the second line that Rodes had built behind his right was extended. Tying into that line, and placed along the reverse slope of the ridge, it was extended all the way to the West McCoull Lane that afternoon.


Look closely and you can see the parapet of the second line as it runs towards the west McCoull lane. (The lane is just inside the far tree line.) It passes just beside the gap between the two clumps of trees. The gap kept clear by the annual bushhogging that is done by the park.


Taken from the second line, this photo gives an idea of its protected location on the reverse slope behind the general area of Doles Salient. Two park markers, which are just behind Doles line are clearly visible to the right of the SUV.

The weather that day, a particularly in the afternoon was dark and rainy. While this made the trenches  a muddy miserable place the brigade had some fortune smile on it. Quite a few tents had been abandoned by the Federal 6th Corps at the Wilderness. These tents would be put to good use during the rainy night ahead.

Later that afternoon, Col. Terry, commanding the 4th Virginia which was the right regiment of the brigade was given a special assignment. (D) He was to take a select group of roughly 200 men out through the abatis, past the skirmish line, and advance as far as he could until the resistance became too strong. Fortunately for those chosen this mission was cancelled and everything returned to the normal routine.

Throughout the night sounds of movement were heard out well beyond the skirmish line. However although apparently a large force whether its purpose was assembly or a  movement it was impossible to tell.

slightly different view of the same position.

The trenches would have been a miserable place after a heavy or protracted rain. This may well be a artillery position along the line.


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, artillery in the Overland Campaign, Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Bloody Angle, Cutshaw's Battalion, Doles Salient, Earthworks and trenchs, field fortifications, Hancock's assault on the Muleshoe, Johnson's Division, May 12, Mule Shoe, Overland Campaign 1864, Upton's Charge, West Angle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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