The McCoull House - Spotsylvania Court House VA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member La de Boheme
N 38° 13.212 W 077° 35.989
18S E 272408 N 4233442
The McCoull house and farm got caught in the crossfire during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864.
Waymark Code: WM95KH
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 07/02/2010
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member gparkes
Views: 5

In the 1800s, Neil McCoull had a farm of a few hundred acres in Spotsylvania County, VA. He and his three sisters lived in a modest house and made a humble living raising grains. In May 1864, their world turned upside down when Union and Confederate troops clashed at Spotsylvania Court House.

On May 8, Confederate Gen. Robert Lee's engineers designed and built an extensive network of earthworks. A bulge in the defense became known as the Muleshoe Salient and the McCoull House sat right in the middle. On May 12, Federal attacks on the Muleshoe began and the house stood in the crossfire of repeated attacks and counterattacks. Neil was gone from the homestead at the time, but the three sisters hid out in the basement.

The Confederates fell back to a new line on May 13, but they left behind a house riddled with bullets and fields littered with bodies. 1492 Union soldiers were buried on the farm. The number of Confederate burials is unknown. Eventually, the house was destroyed by fire in 1921.

The McCoull homesite can be seen at the Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield. There are two historic displays (Mayhem in the Muleshoe and The McCoull House) at the site of the house. Square stones trace the outline. Only the debris of the chimney is left from the original house. (In 1939, the National Park Service conducted an archaeological survey and considered rebuilding the house, but plans fell through and the basement was filled in.¹) On a nearby ridge stands the Ramseur's Brigade Monument.

The battlefield is part of the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park which is open dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

¹Spotsylvania Civil War Blog: McCoull House, Spotsylvania - Then & Now

Related Website: [Web Link]

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