Spotsylvania Battlefield

A stone monument in the distance across a long field.
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House would be a long, exhausting fight for troops who had barely rested from their previous engagement in the Wilderness.

NPS Photo

 

Visiting the Battlefield

During the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House the US Army of the Potomc and Confederate Army of Northern Virginia were engaged in an exhausting series of attacks and counterattacks lasting nearly two weeks. The park's visitor services, driving route, and trails provide a variety of options for exploring and connecting with the history of the battle. 

Check the Operating Hours & Seasons page for our current hours and program schedule.

Spotsylvania Battlefield Exhibit Shelter
Open sunrise to sunset, staffed seasonally 

9550 Grant Drive West, Spotsylvania, VA 22553
Open-air exhibits to orient visitors to the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Restrooms available (no accessible restrooms).

The Spotsylvania Driving Tour follows the numbered stops on the park map. Below is a summary of the driving tour. Follow the driving tour on the NPS App (best for following the tour onsite, available at the Apple Store and on Google Play, audio is currently in development for this tour)

  1. Spotsylvania Battlefield Exhibit Shelter: Begin your tour at the exhibit shelter. Across Brock Road from here is Laurel Hill, the location of the first clash of the battle on May 8, 1864.
  2. Upton's Road: US Colonel Emory Upton led a column assault against Confederate defenses on May 10. Though unsuccessful, the attack would inspire the larger assault on May 12.
  3. Bloody Angle: US forces attacked the Confederate defenses at the Mule Shoe Salient beginning in the early morning of May 12, 1864. The assault led to over twenty hours of harrowing hand-to-hand combat at the Bloody Angle.
  4. Harrison House: Located behind the Confederate formation at the Mule Shoe Salient, this location was near the line that Lee's forces hastily completed as a retreat from the Mule Shoe Salient. 
  5. McCoull House Site: The McCoull House Site was located in the middle of the Mule Shoe Salient. Intense action swirled around here for multiple days of the battle.
  6. East Face of Salient: Located on the opposite side of the Mule Shoe Salient from the Bloody Angle, this location also saw fierce attacks and counterattacks on May 12.
  7. Heth's Salient: Hoping to relieve pressure from the fighting at the Mule Shoe Salient, on May 12, both US and Confederate leaders ordered attacks here at Heth's Salient.
  8. Fredericksburg Road: Fighting shifted multiple times after May12, but throughout the battle, the US Army of the Potomac kept control of their access to the Fredericksburg Road, the army's lifeline to their supplies. Manintaining access to this road enabled US General Grant to order the army to continue south after the battle, slowly wearing away at Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
  • Bloody Angle Trail (pdf)1.1 mi (1.8 km). Start: Bloody Angle, Tour Stop 3. Walk the ground where, on May 12, 1864, Union soldiers launched a massive assault against a bulge in Confederate works called the Mule Shoe Salient. The 22 hours of hand-to-hand combat that followed lent this place its name, the Bloody Angle.
  • Spotsylvania History Trail (pdf): 5.7 mi (9.2 km) loop. Start at any parking area intersecting with the trail. This trail weaves throughout most of the Spotsylvania Battlefield, passing much of the 14 miles of earthworks on the battlefield and covering the majority of tour stops.
 

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    Last updated: March 19, 2022

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