May 8, 1864: The Battle of Spotsylvania Begins

Facebook 0
Twitter
LinkedIn 0
Reddit 0
Delicious
Digg
StumbleUpon 0
WhatsApp
Email
Print

Spotsylvania_Court_House_May_07

Grant, undaunted by his losses at the battle of the Wilderness, sent his army racing down Brock Road on the night of May 7-8 to seize the crossroads of Spotsylvania Court House and get between Lee and Richmond.

Lee was unsure of Grant’s plan, reasoning that Grant would either be heading east towards Fredericksburg or moving south.  In either case it was obvious to Lee that the Spotsylvania Court House crossroads would be essential and sent his cavalry ahead to delay the advance of the Union troops and to seize the crossroads.  He also ordered the First corps under its new commander General Richard Anderson to seize the crossroads.

Union cavalry under Sheridan was bogged down during the nights in running battles with the Confederate cavalry.

By dawn on May 8 the Confederates had control of the crossroads.  Fighting ensued throughout the day as Confederate and Union arriving units were fed into  battle with the Confederates beating off badly coordinated Union attacks.  As night fell, both armies began to dig in and prepare fortifications.

 

Spotsylvania_Court_House_May_09

The Union and Confederate armies would spend another 11 days at Spotsylvania, with more bloody fighting to come.  Here is Lee’s brief reports to the Secretary of War regarding the fighting on May 8.

NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE, Via Orange Court-House, May [8], 18642.30 p.m.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON.

       After a sharp encounter with the Fifth Army Corps (Warren’s) and Torbert’s division of cavalry, General R. H. Anderson, with the advance of the army, repulsed the enemy with heavy slaughter and took possession of the Court-House. I am the more grateful to the Giver of all victory that our loss is small.

R. E. LEE, General.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, May 8, 18649 p.m.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR

       After the repulse of the enemy from Spotsylvania Court-House this morning, receiving re-enforcements, he renewed the attack on our position, but was again handsomely driven back.

R. E. LEE

More to explorer

Just in Time for Christmas

Well, President Trump certainly isn’t the first Republican President to be associated with a stuffed bruin:    

Not One Thin Dime

(This is a repost from 2014.  Nothing has changed in regard to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and no faithful Catholic

Requiescat In Pace: Stan Lee

  Stanley Martin Lieber, better known as Stan Lee, passed away today at age 95.  A World War II veteran, Lee  worked