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Spotsylvania Stump

Spotsylvania Stump

Catalog #: 4435    Accession #: 20209
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 60" H x 18" W x 18" D

Physical Description

Wooden tree stump.

Specific History

Until 12 May 1864, this shattered stump was a large oak tree in a rolling meadow just outside Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia. That morning, 1,200 entrenched Confederates, the front line of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, awaited the assault of 5,000 Union troops from the Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Twenty hours later, the once-peaceful meadow had acquired a new name, the Bloody Angle. The same fury of rifle bullets that cut down 2,000 combatants tore away the twenty-two inch tree trunk. Several of the conical minie balls (bullets) are still deeply embedded in the wood. Unusual objects of war, such as this tree stump, come to symbolize the horror and heroism of a great battle. Originally presented to the U.S. Army's Ordnance Museum by Brevet Major General Nelson A. Miles, the stump was transferred to the Smithsonian in 1888.


Keywords

Country: United States
State: Virginia
War: Civil War
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