Emory Upton was a young New York officer who combined an aggressive nature with a mind for unconventional ideas. He was certain that if an attack was to be successful, it needed to hit a weak spot in the enemy defenses very hard and very fast. On May 10, Ulysses S. Grant gave Upton the opportunity to test his convictions.
On May 10, Union forces found a weakness in the Confederate defenses. Colonel Emory Upton was ordered to attack with 5,000 men a slight bulge in the Confederate lines known as Doles's Salient. Upton's men approached the Confederates on a narrow road through the woods, a typical feature in the area that linked one farm with another.
Upton lined up his 5,000 men in a compact, powerful formation designed to punch through the Confederate line--three regiments across and four regiments deep. They were only 200 yards from General George Doles' Georgians. The Georgian defenders could not see Upton's men in the woods on the back side of a slight ridge. At 6:00 p.m., Upton's men hustled through the woods and charged across this field covering the 200 yards in one minute.
In May of 1994, the 130th anniversary of the battle, descendants of the soldiers who made Upton's attack erected this monument. On one side it depicts the Union formation. On the other side, shown here, it depicts the Confederate alignment - the four brigades in their correct formation.
Upton's men broke through Doles' line and silenced Smith's Battery, represented today by these two cannon.
Upton received no support on his flanks allowing the Confederates to counterattack against his flanks. The Southerners also counterattacked his front forcing Upton to withdraw. Although Upton's charge failed, it proved Upton's theory would work if properly supported. The Union would try his theory again setting the stage for the battle's climax on May 12.
Bloody Angle parking lot, tour stop #3 on driving tour of battlefield