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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Locust Grove in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Union Headquarters

The Battle of the Wilderness

 
 
Union Headquarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
1. Union Headquarters Marker
Inscription. Ellwood stood in the midst of the Wilderness, a dark, forbidding forest characterized by stunted trees and densely tangled undergrowth. When the Confederates challenged General Ulysses S. Grantís advance through the Wilderness on May 5, 1864, the Union commander made his headquarters just a few hundred yards north of here, along the Orange Turnpike (modern Route 20). For the next three days Ellwood, a quiet farm in a desolate region, suddenly found itself the center of national attention.

Union Fifth Corps commander Gouverneur K. Warren occupied the first-floor to the left of the front door throughout the battle. Here, on the evening of May 5, he received reports of staggering casualties from his chief surgeon. “It will never do to make a showing of such heavy losses,” he observed. The bloodshed was just beginning. By the time the Army of the Potomac reached the James River, six weeks later, it had incurred more than 60,000 casualties.
 
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Historical Park, National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 19.147′ N, 77° 43.884′ W. Marker is near Locust Grove, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Constitution Highway (Virginia Route 20),
Union Headquarters Marker with Ellwood image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
2. Union Headquarters Marker with Ellwood
In addition to serving as Gen. Warren's headquarters, Ellwood was used as a hospital after the Battles of Chancellorsville in 1863 and the Wilderness in 1864.
on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Located at the Ellwood (Lacy House) section of the Wilderness Battlefield, within the Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Locust Grove VA 22508, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Military Scene (here, next to this marker); Ellwood (within shouting distance of this marker); Archeology at Ellwood (within shouting distance of this marker); “Stonewall” Jacksonís Arm (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Arm of Stonewall Jackson (about 500 feet away); The Campaign of 1781 (approx. ľ mile away); Grant Comes to Virginia (approx. ľ mile away); Grantís Headquarters (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Locust Grove.
 
More about this marker. The lower left of the marker has a modern day photograph of the interior of Ellwood with the caption Gouverneur Warren used this room as his office during the battle.The right half of the marker contains a map of troop positions during the Battle of the Wilderness.
 
Also see . . .
1. Ellwood Manor. (Submitted on March 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Battle of the Wilderness.
Troop Positions during the Battle of the Wilderness image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
3. Troop Positions during the Battle of the Wilderness
(Submitted on March 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Ellwood from the front image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
4. Ellwood from the front
Warren's Headquarters image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 18, 2008
5. Warren's Headquarters
The room occupied by General Warren is assembled to look as it did during the battle.
General Warren image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 18, 2008
6. General Warren
Display marker inside Ellwood.
Morris Schaff image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 18, 2008
7. Morris Schaff
Quote describing the discussion of casualty figures during Warren's staff meeting inside this room on May 5th 1864.

After supper, which did not take place until the day's commotion had well quited down, I happened to go into the Lacy house, and in the large, high-ceiled room on the left of the hall was Warren, seated on one side of a small table, with Locke, his adjutant general, and Milhau, his chief surgeon, on the other, making up a report of his losses of the day. Warren was still wearing his yellow sash, his hat rested on the table, and his long, coal-black hair was streaming away from his finely expressive forehead, the only features rising unclouded above the habitual gloom of his duskily sallow face. A couple of tallow candles were buring on the table, and on the high mantel a globe lantern...

Just as I passed them, I heard Milhau give a figure, his aggregate from data which he had gathered from the hospitals. "It will never do, Locke, to make a showing of such heavy losses," quickly observed Warren. It was the first time I had ever been present when an official report of this kind was being made, and in my unsophisticated state of West Point truthfulness it drew my eyes to Warren's face with wonder, and I can see its earnest, mournfully solemn lines yet. It is needless to say that after that I always doubted reports of casualties until officially certified.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,362 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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