"A Wild, Wicked Roar"

"A Wild, Wicked Roar" (HM3I6)

Location: Locust Grove, VA 22508 Orange County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 18.963', W 77° 45.548'

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The Battle of the Wilderness

The arrival of Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps here along the Orange Turnpike on the morning of May 5 challenged the Union march through the Wilderness. The Federals responded with a massive attack.

At midday more than 12,000 Federal troops Federal troops moved forward on a jagged, mile-long front. The spearhead of the assault struck Ewell's line here, on the western edge of Saunders Field. Three Union brigades rolled over the Confederates, plunging forward through thickets and brambles for nearly a half mile.

Ewell scrambled to rally his men, and soon a "wild, wicked roar" of musketry engulfed the Union lines. Without supports, the Federals stopped, then retreated. Thousands of blue-clad fugitives dashed back through Saunders Field - most of them faster than they had come.

After the attack here on May 5 the heaviest fighting would shift farther to the south, along the Orange Plank Road. There the Battle of the Wilderness would be decided.

Saunders Field burned on the afternoon of May 5.
"The clearing became a raging inferno, in which many of the wounded perished and the bodies of the dead were blackened and burned beyond all possibility of recognition, a tragic conclusion to this day of horror."
- A man of the 146th New York
HM NumberHM3I6
Placed ByFredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park - National Park Service - Dept. of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 1st, 2014 at 6:28am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 258777 N 4244484
Decimal Degrees38.31605000, -77.75913333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 18.963', W 77° 45.548'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 18' 57.78" N, 77° 45' 32.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 915 Hill Ewell Dr, Locust Grove VA 22508, US
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