No place in America witnessed more struggle during the Civil War than the McCoull farm at Spotsylvania. Here was the Bloody Angle and the Mule Shoe Salient. Men from across the country fought here and units from Michigan and Mississippi were among those most devastated. As part of the National Park Service's nationwide Reverberations program on May 24, 2014, their loss – and that of countless others – will be remembered at Fredericksburg National Cemetery and in communities in Michigan and Mississippi.
Watch the programs live! The National Park Service will be livestreaming elements of these programs throughout the evening of May 24.
In these short videos, rangers from Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park tell these stories in the places where they occurred.
Park Ranger Beth Parnicza discusses the deathbed letter of James Robert Montgomery who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, VA during the Overland Campaign of 1864.
Park Ranger Peter Maugle examines the experience of Captain Nathan Church, 26th Michigan at the battle of the Mule Shoe during the Spotsylvania Court House battles of the Overland Campaign.
Program Schedule for May 24
Fredericksburg National Cemetery
8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Join the National Park Service at Fredericksburg National Cemetery for an illumination to honor the 15,300 soldiers buried there. Follow the guided path to hear these men's stories, or walk on your own through the lit cemetery.
Dearborn, Michigan – The Henry Ford / Greenfield Village
Dearborn will represent the state of Michigan, which sacrificed countless sons, brothers, and fathers on the battlefields of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. Embroiled in battle from the first major clash at the Wilderness to the brutal hand-to-hand combat at Spotsylvania Court House's Bloody Angle, Michiganders bore a heavy burden of the fighting in these two battles and left behind remarkable accounts. Working in partnership with the Henry Ford museum, we will pay our respects to Michigan's sacrifice with a day of programming on May 24 and a large ceremony that evening. http://www.thehenryford.org/events/civilWarRemembrance.aspx
Read a blog post from the Henry Ford about this program.
Natchez, Mississippi – Natchez National Historical Park
Natchez, Mississippi is near the rural homes of Mississippi soldiers who fought knee-deep in mud and gore for 16 hours at the infamous Bloody Angle. David Holt of the 16th Mississippi captured the exhausting nature of the Overland Campaign in the Mississippians' reaction to the Bloody Angle fighting: "All moved by the same impulse, we sat down on the wet ground and wept. Not silently, but vociferously and long." Partnering with Natchez National Historical Park, we will honor the loss of soldiers to families and communities, small and large. www.nps.gov/natc
Explore the other Reverberations programs…
Explore the Reverberations stories associated with battlefields at Richmond National Battlefield Park here and at Petersburg National Battlefield here.