“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)

A Military Scene


—The Battle of the Wilderness —

A Military Scene Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 18, 2008
1. A Military Scene Marker
Inscription. As one of the few large open areas in the Wilderness, the broad fields north and east of Ellwood assumed instant importance during the battle here. While fighting raged a miles to the west, the fields around Ellwood filled with artillery and wagon trains. Provost guards kept watch over Confederate prisoners; surgeons established field hospitals for the wounded; and rough teamsters held their mule-drawn wagons in readiness to carry ammunition to the front.

In the yard of the house and extending northward along the ridge, Union batteries lobbed shells at targets more than a mile away. The fusillade touched off an angry response from Confederate guns, prompting one staff officer to suggest that Grant move his headquarters further to the rear. The Union commander had other ideas. "It strikes me it would be better to order up some artillery and defend the present position," he replied.

"All the space between the garden, the back of the house, and the barns, was loosely occupied by the bivouacs of the headquarters orderlies, clerks, teamsters, officers' servants, cooks...etc. who on a campaign form quite a colony... ."
-Lt. Morris Schaff, Union staff
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Historical Park - National Park Service.
Old Road Bed image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 18, 2008
2. Old Road Bed
A depression in front of Ellwood matches to the location in Waud's sketch of several wagons in front of the house.
38° 19.146′ N, 77° 43.882′ W. Marker is near Locust Grove, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Constitution Highway (State Highway 20), on the left when traveling west. Touch 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. Union Headquarters (here, next to this marker); Ellwood (within shouting distance of this marker); Archeology at Ellwood (within shouting distance of this marker); “Stonewall” Jackson’s Arm (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Arm of Stonewall Jackson (about 500 feet away); The Campaign of 1781 (approx. ¼ mile away); Grant Comes to Virginia (approx. ¼ mile away); Grant’s Headquarters (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Locust Grove.
More about this marker. The lower half of the marker is a drawing of the scene around Ellwood. Artist Alfred Waud penciled this view of Ellwood on May 7, 1864, during the Battle of the Wilderness. He was then at the Wilderness Tavern, one-half mile ahead of you. The numbered sketch shows Union artillery batteries (#8) in reserve around the house.
Also see . . .  Battle of the Wilderness. National Park Service battle summary. (Submitted on October 24, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 24, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,340 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 24, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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