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Wilderness Battlefield - Hill-Ewell Drive virtual tour by markers. Use the “First >>” button above to see these markers in sequence.
Virginia (Orange County), Locust Grove — JJ 20 — Battle of the Wilderness
Ewell's Corps, the left wing of Lee's Army, moving down this road from Orange, came into conflict near here with Warren's Corps of Grant's Army, May 5, 1864. The fight moved to and fro until Ewell finally drove Warren back and entrenched here. Late the next afternoon, May 6, Ewell attacked the unionists. Meanwhile, two miles south on the Orange Plank Road, the right wing of Lee's Army was engaged with Grant's left wing. — Map (db m5450) HM
Virginia (Orange County), Locust Grove — “A Wild, Wicked Roar”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 . . . — Map (db m6008) HM
Virginia (Orange County), Locust Grove — Battle of the Wilderness
Here May 5, 6, 1864, 70,000 Confederates under Lee defeated 120,000 Federals under Grant. Confederate loss 11,500. Federal 18,000. This battle, fought with conspicuous bravery, in a Wilderness on fire, will take it’s place among the great battles of the Civil War. Erected by the 13, Virginia Regiment, Chapter U.D.C. 1927 — Map (db m6007) HM
Virginia (Orange County), Locust Grove — The Confederate LineThe Battle of the Wilderness
Dick Ewell was raring for a fight. When a subordinate approached him early on May 5, 1864, and asked Ewell about his orders, the balding, pop-eyed general piped up cheerily: "... Just the orders I like - to go right down the [turnpike] and strike the enemy wherever I find him." Ewell made contact with the Union army here at Saunders Field. Deploying in line of battle across the turnpike, the Confederates began to entrench using knives, bayonets, shovels made from canteen halves, or whatever . . . — Map (db m72886) HM
Virginia (Orange County), Locust Grove — The Higgerson FarmThe Battle of the Wilderness
Before you are the fields of the Higgerson Farm, one of only a few major clearings on the Wilderness Battlefield. On the afternoon of May 5, Union troops swept across this open space, bound for bewildering combat in the thickets to the north and west. When the Federals trampled her fence and garden, Permelia Higgerson emerged from her house, berated the Yankees, and predicted their quick repulse. “We didn’t pay much attention to what she said,” admitted a Pennsylvanian, “but . . . — Map (db m6038) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Spotsylvania — Wilderness Campaign
May 5, 1864. In the early afternoon, Wadsworth's Division of Warren's Corps hit the right flank of Rodes' Confederate Division near this point. Its left already crippled by Griffin's Division on the Turnpike a mile north, Rodes' line here staggered under Wadsworth's blow. The whole front of Ewell's Corps seemed about to give way. Then Gordon's Brigade, struggling through the same thickets which had caused Wadsworth's troops to lose direction smashed into the Federal division and drove it back. — Map (db m7408) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Locust Grove — The Chewning FarmThe Battle of the Wilderness
On the ridge ahead of you stood the Chewning house, an important landmark on the Wilderness Battlefield. Sixty-nine-year-old William V. Chewning scratched out a living on this 150-acre farm during the war with the help of his wife Permelia and their two grown children. Union troops looted the farm in November 1863 but left the two-and-one-half-story frame house standing. The building, extensively remodeled after the war, fell victim to fire in 1947. The farm road to your right leads to the . . . — Map (db m7454) HM
Virginia (Orange County), Locust Grove — A.P. Hill Escapes CaptureThe Battle of the Wilderness
On the morning of May 6, General A.P. Hill stretched his battle lines across the Chewning farm, closing a dangerous gap in the Confederate line. Before Hill's troops arrived, a Union regiment broke into the clearing from the east, startling the general and his staff. Hill calmly directed his men, "Mount, walk your horses, and don't look back." They did, avoiding capture. As soon as his men were out of danger, Hill sent for a brigade and retook the clearing. Later that day General Lee conferred . . . — Map (db m19162) HM
Virginia (Orange County), Locust Grove — Key TerrainThe Battle of the Wilderness
The fighting in the Wilderness centered on two thoroughfares: the Orange Turnpike and the Orange Plank Road. Between them yawned a gaping void of dense trees and brush, broken only by a few fields and the track of the Parker's Store Road, still visible 50 yards to your left. The most important clearing was the Chewning farm. If the Union army could seize this clearing, it would be in position to divide the Confederate forces and defeat them individually. Gen. Samuel W. Crawford's division of . . . — Map (db m19164) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Spotsylvania — Wilderness Campaign
May 5-6, 1864. The bluecoats of Crawford's Division emerged into the sunlight of this clearing, the Chewning Farm, on May 5 in the predetermined moved toward Parker's Store on the Orange Plank Road. Lee's eastward thrust, however, changed all Union plans, and Crawford was withdrawn to the Turnpike sector. While Ewell's Corps on the Pike and A.P. Hill's on the Plank Road parried the powerful Federal army, the Chewning Farm remained a vulnerable gap between the two battle fronts, presenting an . . . — Map (db m7463) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Spotsylvania — Wilderness Campaign
May 5, 1864. Since Longstreet's Corps was still on the way from encampment near Gordonsville, Lee began this battle with only two of his three corps. Keeping Ewell on the defensive in the Orange Turnpike sector, he pushed A.P. Hill's Corps eastward along the Plank Road to seize Grant's route of march, the Brock Road. Getty's Division and Hancock's Corps foiled the Confederate thrust. When darkness ended the struggle, Hill's exhausted troops in this vicinity awaited relief from Longstreet's men . . . — Map (db m7466) HM
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