Locust Grove in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Battle of the Wilderness
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 commence 11 months of grinding combat that would both transform and decide the American Civil War.
The battle began when Union and Confederate forces collided in this small field astride the Orange Turnpike.
The outcome of the fighting hinged on which side could control this elevated clearing.
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.
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!"
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #18 Ulysses S. Grant series list.
Location. 38° 19.05′ N, 77° 45.398′ W. Marker is in Locust Grove, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker is on Constitution Highway (Virginia Route 20) 1.7 miles west of Germanna Highway (Virginia Route 3), on the right when traveling west. Marker is located at the Wilderness Battlefield Exhibit Shelter - Stop 2 of the Wilderness Battlefield Auto Tour Route. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Locust Grove VA 22508, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Wilderness (a few steps from this marker); Collision of Giants (within shouting distance of this marker); Gordon Flank Attack TrailClash on the Orange Turnpike (within shouting distance of this marker); The Fighting Ends in Stalemate (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of the Wilderness (within shouting distance of this marker); Struggle on the Orange Plank Road (within shouting distance of this marker); The Capture of Winslow's Battery (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Locust Grove.
Also see . . . Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. National Park Service (Submitted on January 8, 2018.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 5, 2018, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 139 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on September 5, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 5, 2018, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.