The Battle of the Wilderness

The Battle of the Wilderness (HM24G7)

Location: Locust Grove, VA 22508 Orange County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 19.05', W 77° 45.398'

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On no American battlefield did the landscape do more to intensify the horror of combat. One soldier called the Wilderness "a wild, weird, region... [a] dense and trackless forest." For decades loggers had cut and re-cut these forests to fuel nearby iron furnaces, leaving behind an impenetrable mix of deadfall, brush, and re-emerging growth. For the soldiers who fought here, that meant fear, fire, and shock—battle lines popped up and disappeared into the gloom like deadly phantoms.

The armies of Lee and Grant collided here in the first clash between the two leaders. In 1864, Lee stood as perhaps the last and only hope for a struggling Confederacy. Union General Grant entered battle knowing the summer's campaign would help determine the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. What he could not know—no one could—was that the Battle of the Wilderness would comment 11 months of grinding combat that would both transform and decide the American Civil War.


Saunders Field
The battle began when Union and Confederate forces collided in this small field astride the Orange Turnpike.

Chewning Farm
The outcome of the fighting hinged on which side could control this elevated clearing.

Hill-Ewell Drive
By battle's end, Lee's men had constructed

several miles of earth and log defenses. Modern Hill-Ewell Drive follows the remains of the Confederate line.

Tapp Field
When the Confederate leader attempted to lead his troops in a counterattack across this field, his men forced him back to safety with the cry, "Lee to the rear!"
HM NumberHM24G7
Placed ByFredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 1:03pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 259000 N 4244639
Decimal Degrees38.31750000, -77.75663333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 19.05', W 77° 45.398'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 19' 3" N, 77° 45' 23.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 35401-35425 VA-20, Locust Grove VA 22508, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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