Spotsylvania Court House: “Sad but Heroic Hearts”

from Chris

On May 11, 1864, a pall of disappointment and discouragement sat over what is now Stevenson Ridge.

First, the death of Brig. Gen. Stevenson on the previous day had knocked the wind out of the IX Corps’s sails. Then, a late-afternoon push into Spotsylvania Court House ended in an inexplicable withdrawal. The corps had made gains that put the army as close to the village as it would ever get during the two-week battle, but army commander Ulysses …


Spotsylvania Court House: Battle of the Ni

Federal forces cross the Ny River. The column of troops in the left of the image ascend a slope that takes them past modern Stevenson Ridge.

from Chris

One hundred fifty-five years ago today, a portion of the Federal army appeared along the Fredericksburg Road–modern day Rt. 208–and moved southwest toward Spotsylvania Court House. The previous day, three-fourths of the army had collided with the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to the west along Brock Road, where Confederates successfully bottlenecked …


Stevenson Ridges’s Civil War Anniversaries

from Chris

It was 154 years ago yesterday that Yankee infantry first swept across the property that is now Stevenson Ridge. And it was 154 years ago today that Brig. Gen. Thomas Greeley Stevenson—the man for whom SR is named—was killed on the battlefield.

You can read all about Stevenson Ridge’s Civil War history in our own book, Traces of the Bloody Struggle: The Civil War at Stevenson Ridge, Spotsylvania Court House. Order your hard copy—only $10—exclusively from Stevenson …


Visiting a Civil War Hero’s Hometown

upton-birthplace-covered-signfrom Chris

For students of the battle of Spotsylvania Court House, one of the most famous stories is that of a Union officer named Emory Upton. On May 10, 1864, Upton devised a plan to attack the Confederate line along the western face of the Mule Shoe Salient. The attack involved brand new tactics, but it also looked like a long shot. Superiors told Upton he’d be promoted to brigadier general if he came back successful; if he wasn’t successful, …


SR Welcomes the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable

cleveland-cwrtfrom Chris

Stevenson Ridge recently played host to visitors from the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable. About 30 “Civil Warriors” made the trip, which focused on the 1864 Overland Campaign. Historian Kris White—my frequent collaborator and Emerging Civil War co-founder—spent Friday and Saturday showing the group around the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House battlefields.

Saturday morning, specifically, the group looked at the Spotsy battlefield before enjoying a BBQ lunch provided by our friends at Country Lane Catering at the battlefield’s picnic …


A Little Wedding, A Little History

LobbyLoveSign 051416from Chris

We’re getting ready for a wedding this afternoon here at Stevenson Ridge. Teal, peach, and off-white pom-poms festoon the fireplace in the chapel, and spider-thin curly-que candelabras, also teal, sit at the center of each table. A sign in the lobby says, “Happiness is not a destination. It is a way of life.”

Outside, it’s the kind of day our handyman, Frank, would call a “Chamber of Commerce” day—sunny and pleasant and enticing.

As I look out the …



151 Years Ago Today

One hundred and fifty-one years ago today, Stevenson Ridge became a battlefield. It wasn’t known as Stevenson Ridge back then, of course—that’s the name my family gave the property after we purchased it in 2001. In 1864, it was part of a plantation owned by the Beverly family.

Just two miles to the east, the Union and Confederate armies clashed along the Brock Road just outside the village of Spotsylvania Court House after fighting for days in the Wilderness. The …