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Sculpted by Gary Casteel


1863 Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Monument Replicas


At approximately 4:30 p.m. on June 18th, 1864, in one of the last Federal attacks before establishing the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery was ordered to make a frontal assault, across open ground, against the Confederate line at Colquitt’s Salient.  The main Confederate defense line was anchored by a series of concentrated artillery positions known as salients. Colquitt's Salient was a complex of earthen trenches and artillery positions east of Poor Creek. As the 1st Maine moved, their supports — veteran regiments who knew the folly of attacking entrenched positions — huddled under cover, leaving the 1st Maine to attack alone.  Confederate musketry and artillery devastated the regiment.


The field became a burning, seething, crashing, hissing hell, in which human courage, flesh and bone were struggling with an impossibility.…
– Capt. Horace H. Shaw, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery


Within the space of 10 to 15 minutes, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery lost the equivalent of a man each second: 632 men killed and wounded (out of almost 900 engaged), the largest number of casualties by a Union regiment in a single action in the entire war.  The Confederates, behind earthworks, lost just 25.


For the next nine months, the Confederates remained here, only 300 yards from the Union lines.  Because of its proximity, the shelling and sniper firing continued almost daily throughout the siege.  The works the Confederates built to protect themselves were particularly elaborate. One officer described the salient as " ... a mere labyrinth of trench, with bomb-proof cover in every available spot."  Colquitt’s Salient witnessed no more major action, just constant sniping and occasional bombardment, until March 25, 1865.  Then it would be the Confederates’ turn to attack.


Colquitt’s Salient played an important role in the last offensive operation undertaken by the Confederates during the siege.  The nearness of the fort, which made a surprise attack possible, was one of the reasons General John B. Gordon selected Stedman as the object of his assault. Gordon believed that he could reach the cleared ground beyond the fort, form there, and take the three works in reverse.  If he could do this and could spread his troops to the right and to the left for a sufficient distance, he argued that he would have a position of such strength and depth that he would divide the enemy's troops and could force the Federals to abandon that part of their fortifications to the south and southwest.  On March 25th, 1865, from Colquitt’s Salient, Gordon, his selected 50 axe men and 300 troops, distinguished by strips of white cloth across their chests, launched a predawn attack on Union Fort Stedman and Union Batteries X and XI on either side of Stedman.  The Union troops were initially driven out, but counterattacked and ultimately retook the positions.


The monument is located along the half mile walking trail that starts at the parking area at Stop number Five of the Petersburg National Battlefield Eastern Front Auto Tour.

Colquitt's Salient Marker (Petersburg)

SKU: 1116
  • Size:  2 ¼” x 1 ¾” s 3 ½”

    Weight:  .30lbs

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