The Battle of Spotsylvania: May 1864
The Reaper's Tally

Spotsylvania bullet riddled oak tree - Smithsonian InstitutionAlthough the conflict around Spotsylvania Court House would continue in some measure until the 21st of May, 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant could not find a way to fight Lee to his advantage. Despite greatly superior Union numbers, the game Confederates again stymied their persistent Union foes. Despite losses similar to those during the Battle of the Wilderness, 18,000 Union to 11,000 Confederate, General Lee would find well nigh impossible the task of replacing the commanders and men sacrificed on war's unforgiving altar. Therefore, despite inflicting a staggering 36,000 Union casualties in only three weeks time, their own 22,000 dead, wounded, or missing meant that the Army of Northern Virginia suffered most from their triumphs.

The to left, you can see the remains of the fabled oak tree present at the Bloody Angle of the Confederate's Mule Shoe Salient. The nearly unprecedented volume of bullets furiously filling the air during these horrid days of fighting gnawed through and reportedly felled this once mighty oak.  What bullets took time to do to hard wood, they would take only seconds to do to flesh and bone. And yet, the fighting would continue.

Confederate prisoners captured at Spotsylvania