The fighting in the Muleshoe Salient lasted all day and much of the night. Meanwhile, the Confederates were busy building a new line of trenches in the rear of the salient. Around 2 A.M. on May 13, the Confederates pulled back to this new line, ending the fighting in the salient. For the next several days, the armies maneuvered to the east, but returned to this area on May 18. A Union major attack on that day failed largely because of the strength of the Confederate works.
The earthworks of Lee's Last Line were the finest constructed trenches up to this point in the war. Consisting of infantry trenches, artillery emplacements, secondary lines, and traverses running a right angles to the main line, this complex system of works is among the best preserved trench system of the entire war.
Shown here is a well preserved horseshoe shaped artillery emplacement.
The original trench system consisted of logworks over a man's head in height with a space between the top two logs for a soldier to shoot through with the upper log protecting his head. In front of the logs, earth sloped upward. Behind the logs was a trench. The logs were carried away by the landowners after the battle. The earth and trench part are what remain today after 143 years of erosion.
Shown here is a rebuilt section of the works so visitors can more easily visualize what the earthworks looked like at the time of the battle.
Fredericksburg Road, tour stop #8 on driving tour of battlefield.