East Face of Salient

A grassy trail follows along a tree lined field.
The earthworks along the East Face of the Muleshoe Salient travers the Confederate works.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits

The trenches here are some of the best preserved on the entire battlefield. They mark where the Confederate line at the Muleshoe bent back to the east, connecting with Confederates further to the south.

On May 12, the defenses here were held by Major General Edward Johnson’s men. When they were attacked first thing in the morning, many of the soldiers here were captured. Edward Johnson, caught up in the fray, was also captured here, along with another general, George Steuart. The two were brought back behind Union lines as prisoners of war. Behind the lines, some of the guards watching over the generals and other Confederate prisoners were Black soldiers who belonged to the United States Colored Troops (USCTs). Accompanying the Army of the Potomac in the spring of 1864, these USCTs would see some of their first combat during the Battle of Spotsylvania.

After the fall of the Muleshoe, heavy fighting continued back and forth over these trenches, much like it did at the Bloody Angle to the west. Walking trails cover the ground between here and the Bloody Angle. Please help preserve the earthworks by not walking in or over them.

Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

Last updated: April 5, 2024