U. S. CIVIL WAR
(PAGE 5 OF 5)
Location of Photographs in this Section
The letters in parenthesis, i.e. (B), in the following text refer back to this map.
(Click on a letter on this map to see a representative photograph.)
This fight between Lee and Merritt developed into the deadliest phase of the
battle. The 1st New York Dragoons alone lost 91 men in the action, the highest
loss of any cavalry regiment in a single engagement during the war.
point in the battle, the Confederate logworks caught fire, but the soldiers
simply shot at one another through the flames. Merritt finally captured the
logworks late in the day, but as night drew on he withdrew his division towards
Todd's Tavern enabling Lee to reoccupy them.
That night, Meade pulled his army out of its trenches in the Wilderness and began
marching down the Brock Road toward Spotsylvania Court House. Major General
Gouverneur K. Warren's Fifth Corps led the march. Meade ordered Sheridan to
clear the road all the way to Spotsylvania, but the orders miscarried, and when
Meade reached Todd's Tavern about midnight, he found Gregg's troops in bivouac
He angrily ordered Merritt to finish clearing the road to Spotsylvania while
Gregg pushed out the Catharpin Road to Corbin's Bridge to protect the army's
Meanwhile, on the other side of Corbin's Bridge, Robert E. Lee's army was
arriving at the Shady Grove Church from which they would take the Shady
Grove Church Road to Spotsylvania.
Shady Grove Church.   (A)
Shady Grove Church Road at Catharpin Road.   (B)
State Route 908, Now called the Robert E. Lee Drive.
Union General Merritt again found Fitz Lee's division still blocking the Brock
road. Lee had felled trees across the road to hinder the Union army's advance, and
his troops shot at the Federals as they tried to pull them out of the way.
Impatient with Merritt's slow progress, Warren at dawn ordered Major General John
C. Robinson's infantry division to the front. Robinson's foot soldiers pushed Fitz
Lee's troopers back across the Alsop Farm clearing to a slight ridge later called
Laurel Hill, less than two miles from the Court House.
Laurel Hill, Union view.   (G)
Confederate view from Laurel Hill.   (J)
The red arrow marks Union General Sedgewick's position, when he was killed
by a shot from this location. (See
Lee's men threw down fence
rails along the low, wooded crest and again prepared to contest the Union advance.
Robinson confidently advanced to attack them. As he did so, two Confederate
infantry brigades of Major General Richard H. Anderson's First Corps--the
vanguard of Lee's army--came running up from the rear and joined Lee's men along
the ridge, and together they hurled the Federals back in confusion. Repeated
attacks by Warren failed to crack the Confederate line.
Thanks to tenacious
fighting on the part of Fitzhugh Lee's troopers, the Southerners had won the race
(Text Source: U.S. Gov't, National Park Service).
Civil War Photos