Battle Of Spotsylvania Map
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On May 8, Union Maj. Gens. Gouverneur K. Warren and John Sedgwick unsuccessfully attempted to dislodge the Confederates under Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson from Laurel Hill, a position that was blocking them from Spotsylvania Court House. On May 10, Grant ordered attacks across the Confederate line of earthworks, which by now extended over 4 miles (6.5 km), including a prominent salient known as the Mule Shoe. Although the Union troops failed again at Laurel Hill, an innovative assault attempt by Col. Emory Upton against the Mule Shoe showed promise.
See our collection of photos from Spotsylvania Court House, the second battle of Union commander Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign of 1864 against Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia.
Replacing Sedgwick with Major General Horatio Wright , Grant began to develop plans for assaulting Lee's army. Forming a ragged, inverted "V," the Confederate lines were weakest near the tip in an area known as the Mule Shoe Salient. At 4:00 PM on May 10, the first Union attacks moved forward as Warren's men assaulted Anderson's corps along the left side of the Confederate position.