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AHF Spring 2024 Battle Ride to Spotsylvania Court House

May 4

Save the Date! As we look towards 2024, keep an eye out for more information and registration as the Programs and Education team prepares for The Army Historical Foundation’s Spring 2024 Battle Ride this May. A preview of what’s ahead is below, we look forward to you joining us!

“I never expect to be fully believed when I tell what I saw of the horrors of Spotsylvania.” remarked Lieutenant Colonel Thomas W. Hyde of the United States Army. “There is no parallel to this fight in the history of this war – not any I know of since the introduction of firearms.” reflected Cadmus Wilcox, a former United States Army soldier who served with the Confederacy. For those who experienced it, the battle for the Muleshoe Salient at Spotsylvania Court House on May 12, 1864, would mark a turning point in their experience as soldiers during the American Civil War.

When Lee’s Confederate Army awoke after a night march to Spotsylvania Court House to cut off Grant’s Union forces on the road to Richmond, they discovered their defensive line had formed a “salient” or a bulge in the defensive line that was vulnerable to attack from multiple directions. Grant would immediately begin shifting forces into the area to mount an attack. Over the ensuing days, this roughly 500-acre area would become some of the most contested ground of the American Civil War.

Join the Army Historical Foundation in partnership with the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust on this year’s Spring Battle Ride to explore the experiences of those who fought at the Mule Shoe Salient on May 12th, 1862, and how it affected the lives of soldiers and civilians who witnessed it. We will see just what General Ulysses S. Grant meant when he proposed “to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.”

On this tour we will:

  • Explore the critical decisions made during this campaign that would forever change the face of war.
    Demonstrate the sights and sounds of the battlefield in 1864, including uniforms, equipment, and live fire demonstrations of Civil War era weaponry at a private range.
  • See preserved field fortifications on parts of the battlefield that are not publicly accessible and examine how they were constructed.
  • Use firsthand accounts to piece together the combat experience of soldiers who fought in the Muleshoe area of the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield on May 12th of 1864, and the civilians who were caught in the crossfire.

This Battle Ride is a joint partnership between the Army Historical Foundation (AHF) and the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT), a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve threatened battlefield land in Central Virginia related to the Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Mine Run, and Overland campaigns saving over 1,700 acres to date. Joining Foundation tour leaders will be Robert Lee Hodge. Hodge is an internationally renowned Civil War author, lecturer, researcher, documentarian, and preservationist. He is known for his role in the New York Times best seller Confederates in the attic, where he led author Tony Horwitz on a multi-day tour of significant Confederate battlefields in the East. Rob also serves as a member of the board for the CVBT. Also joining the ride will be Tom Van Winkle, President of the CVBT who will be discussing the preservation efforts of threatened battlefields in Central Virginia.

REGISTRATION COMING SOON

Details

Date:
May 4
Event Category:

Organizer

The Army Historical Foundation
View Organizer Website