diverged from the works the opposing lines came in contact, but neither would give ground.
And for eighteen hours raged the most sanguinary conflict of the war. The point remained in our possession at the close of the struggle, and is known as ‘The Angle.’
During this all-day conflict, the tree, a red oak, standing at the angle of the works was cut down by the bullets fired from both sides, but mostly by men of the 121st. Colonel Upton
noting that the enemy kept seeking shelter behind it from which to fire upon the battery and our troops, ordered Captain Weaver
with a part of the regiment to keep up a constant fire upon that point, and thus prevent the Rebels
from putting their heads above the works.
After keeping up this fire for several hours the men saw the tree begin to waver and it soon after fell with a crash upon those near it, inside the enemy's rifle pits.
A section of the tree in the ordnance department at Washington
is labled as having been “cut down by musket balls in an attempt to recapture the works previously captured by the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, May 12, 1864.
Presented to the Honorable Secretary of War
by Brevet Maj.-Gen. N. A. Miles
, commanding First Division, Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.”
The dimensions are given as 5 feet high and 22 inches in diameter.
So this must have been the stump of the tree below the point where it was cut off. The inference from this label is that men of the Second Corps are to be credited with the cutting down of the tree.
But the fact is that the Second Brigade of the First Division of the Sixth Corps, occupied the position directly in front of the tree, and Captain Weaver
and his men fired for hours directly at the Rebels
seeking shelter behind it, until it fell.