Near Locust Grove in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
“A Wild, Wicked Roar”
The Battle of the Wilderness
At midday more than 12,000 Federal troops Federal troops moved forward on a jagged, mile-long front. The spearhead of the assault struck Ewell’s line here, on the western edge of Saunders Field. Three Union brigades rolled over the Confederates, plunging forward through thickets and brambles for nearly a half mile.
Ewell scrambled to rally his men, and soon a “wild, wicked roar” of musketry engulfed the Union lines. Without supports, the Federals stopped, then retreated. Thousands of blue-clad fugitives dashed back through Saunders Field – most of them faster than they had come.
After the attack here on May 5 the heaviest fighting would shift farther to the south, along the Orange Plank Road. There the Battle of the Wilderness would be decided.
Saunders Field burned on the afternoon of May 5.
“The clearing became a raging inferno, in which many of the wounded perished and the bodies of the dead were blackened and burned beyond all possibility of recognition, a tragic conclusion to this day of horror.”
- A man of the 146th New York
Location. 38° 18.963′ N, 77° 45.548′ W. Marker is near Locust Grove, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Hill-Ewell Drive and Constitution Highway (Virginia Route 20), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. The marker is in the Wilderness Battlefield, at Stop Three (Saunders Field) on the driving tour. 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. The Confederate Line (here, next to this marker); Battle of the Wilderness (a few steps from this marker); The Confederate Defense (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 140th New York State Vols. (about 700 feet away); First Blood in Saunders Field (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gordon Flank Attack Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Wilderness (approx. 0.2 miles away); Saunders Field (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Locust Grove.
More about this marker. In the background of he marker is a picture of Union soldiers recovering their dead. The upper right of the marker shows a map of the Union Breakthrough of 1 p.m., May 5, 1864. The
Also see . . . Battle of the Wilderness. (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 March 6, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,303 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 6, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 3. submitted on April 7, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on March 6, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.