Stumped at Spotsy?

What does this cement block have to do with the battle of the Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania Court House?

Spotsy Stump marker

The concrete block is all that remains of a marker erected by one-time landowner Edward Stuart to mark the spot of a 22-inch oak tree shot down by bullets during the fighting at the Bloody Angle on May 12, 1864.

The stump is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. I had the chance a while back—before COVID—to pay a visit to the stump in the museum, and I’ve been saving up my adventure to share it on the anniversary of the battle. Check it out on the ECW YouTube page!


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9 Responses to Stumped at Spotsy?

  1. Dr. Jon Willen says:

    I’m a docent at the museum and the stump is part of my highlights tour.

  2. Hank Gilliam says:

    Mr. Mackowski….. just recently began following this site. I find your posts and videos very informative. I’m glad to have come across such knowledgeable, professional articles by very talented contributors.

    I visited the stump site forty years ago while tramping the battlefield with my children.

    I’d like to offer an observation… as one who does not live in a Civil War historical area and is rarely able to visit, the frequent use of a nick name like “Spotsy” seems out of place. If taken to the next level we could see the use of Antie, Frank, and (groan) Arli.. These sites deserve better.

    Probably a minor issue, but thought this input might be welcomed.

    Keep up the good work !!

    Dr. Willen… Good Luck with the re-opening.

  3. Michael O says:

    Thank you Chris

  4. Debra Page says:

    At the end of your wonderful video, you mentioned the display of Little Sorrel at VMI. With the recent removal of Stonewall statues, quotes, etc. from VMI, do you think Little Soreel will be on the chopping block soon?

  5. Dave Bieksza says:

    How about a spotlight on an even more obscure monument at the Spotsylvania Battlefield — the E. T. Stuart monument? Before the current plague a friend and I couldn’t find it even with the help of a part ranger.

  6. Adam Burke says:

    I visited this spot and saw it today!

  7. Katy Berman says:

    Great video! Are you actually in the museum without a mask? Yay!

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