We were sent out on picket last
night it rained considerabal got wet
the fite opened at an Erly hour
desperh (?) charges is being made
we move up to a rifel pit rebs
comenc sheling us our patter
-ies replied it is yet warmer
work on our righ and desper
strugel we hol our ground
hav yet not lost many our boys
company (?) non
(On May 12, 1864 Confederate and Union soldiers, in pouring rain, engaged in 20 hours of hand-to-hand combat along a 200 yard portion of the Confederate line at the West Angle of the Mule Shoe. The Confederate troops eventually retreated. The battle reinforced General Grant's notion to relentlessly take the battle to the enemy. In retrospect after the carnage at Spotsylvania General Lee would never have the troops to make another northern invasion.)
Official Records of the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Spotsylvania 140th history of the battle.
Library of Congress photographs (most by Matthew Brady), of Grant's Wilderness Campaign.