Near Locust Grove in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Gordon Flank Attack Trail
The Battle of the Wilderness
The two-mile Gordon Flank Attack Trail tracks the Battle of the Wilderness in all its horrible forms: the open-field Union attacks here that initiated the battle; the stalemate in the tangled woods to the north; and the devastating Confederate flank attack that, after two days of fighting, almost brought the Federals to disaster.
The Wilderness: "Hell Itself"
The mature forests here today bear little resemblance to the Wilderness of 1864. For years before the war, vast tracts of the Wilderness had been timbered. When the armies arrived, they found a sometimes impenetrable landscape of matted thickets and young trees. Wrote one of Grant's officers, "It was a battle fought with the ear, and not the eye. All circumstances seemed to combine to make the scene one of unutterable horror."
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Natioanl Military Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1864.
Location. 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. First Blood in Saunders Field (a few steps from this marker); The Battle of the Wilderness (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wilderness (within shouting distance of this marker); 140th New York State Vols. (within shouting distance of this marker); Collision of Giants (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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Locust Grove.
More about this marker. A map in the center of the marker imposes the major combat maneuvers over the modern road and trail network, and is captioned: The trail is two mile long - about a 60-minute walk. A printed guide is available between the second and third stops on the trail.
On the right is a photograph from the 19th century of the Wilderness, Nearly every sapling visible in this postwar view bears the scars of bullets or shells. Many of the dead lay unburied for years.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Virtual tour of the Gordon Flank Attack Trail by markers.
Also see . . .
1. The Wilderness Battle. National Park Service article. (Submitted on April 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Gordon Flank Attack Trail(Submitted on April 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,509 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5. submitted on September 5, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia.