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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Locust Grove in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Battle of the Wilderness

 
 
The Battle of the Wilderness Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, November 25, 2017
1. The Battle of the Wilderness Marker
Inscription.  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 commence 11 months of grinding combat that would both transform and decide the American Civil War.

(captions)

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

Chewning
The Battle of the Wilderness - Park Orientation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, November 25, 2017
2. The Battle of the Wilderness - Park Orientation Marker
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!"
 
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 Trail
The Battle of the Wilderness - Park Regulations Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, November 25, 2017
3. The Battle of the Wilderness - Park Regulations Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Clash 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.) 
 
Wilderness Battlefield Exhibit Shelter image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, November 25, 2017
4. Wilderness Battlefield Exhibit Shelter
Artillery Piece near The Battle of the Wilderness Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, November 25, 2017
5. Artillery Piece near The Battle of the Wilderness Marker
 
 
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.
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Mar. 8, 2021