Flat Run in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Into the Wilderness
—Lee Vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign —
Grant seized Germanna Ford on May 4. At dawn, soldiers of the 3rd Indiana Cavalry splashed across the river, scattering a few Confederate pickets who stood guard here. Union engineers then threw down two pontoon bridges and the army began pouring across. A Connecticut soldier, awed by the seemingly endless procession of men, wagons and artillery, concluded that such an army might “overcome the world.” Theodore Lyman, an officer on Meade’s staff, had a more sobering thought. “How strange it would look,” he mused, “if every soldier destined to fall in the coming campaign wore a large badge!”
The Fifth and Sixth Corps crossed the Rapidan here on May 4, going into camp between here and Wilderness Tavern. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock’s Second Corps crossed farther downstream, at Ely’s Ford, followed by the army’s huge wagon train. As the Union columns crossed the river, they entered the Wilderness, a densely wooded area marked by thick woods and unusually
When a reporter asked Grant how long he thought it would take to get to Richmond, he replied, four days. “That is, if General Lee becomes a party to the agreement,” he added with a smile, “but if he objects, the trip will undoubtedly be prolonged.”
(sidebar) On May 4, the Army of the Potomac broke camp near Culpeper and marched southeast, crossing the Rapidan River at Germanna and Ely's Fords. Burnside’s independent Ninth Corps, starting north of the Rappahannock River, did not cross at Germanna Ford until May 5. As soon as Lee learned of the Union crossing, he moved eastward with Ewell’s and Hill’s Corps to intercept Grant in the Wilderness. Longstreet’s Corps, camped near Gordonsville, headed for the battlefield via Brock’s Bridge.
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 22.632′ N, 77° 46.91′ W. Marker is in Flat Run, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker is on Germanna Highway (Virginia Route 3) north of the Germanna Community College Entrance (Virginia Route 375), on the right Touch for map. Just north of Route 760. 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 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Germanna Ford (here, next to this marker); Germanna (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Germanna Ford (about 500 feet away but has been reported missing); Culpeper County / Orange County (approx. 0.2 miles away); The "Enchanted Castle" at Germanna, circa 1720-1750 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Spotswood Family Cemetery (approx. 3 miles away); Gordon's Flank Attack (approx. 3 miles away); Captain John Spotswood (approx. 3 miles away).
More about this marker. The upper center of the marker displays a photograph of Union artillery crossing Germanna Ford on May 6. The lower right of the marker has a map showing the operations described in the marker's text.
Also see . . .
1. The Wilderness Campaign. National Park Service summary detailing the campaign to include the crossing at Germanna Ford starting on May 4, 1864. (Submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Civil War Trails – Lee vs. Grant: The 1864 Overland Campaign Tour. (Submitted on March 6, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 17, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,589 times since then and 91 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 17, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 2. submitted on November 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3. submitted on November 17, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 4, 5. submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.