Wilderness Exhibit Shelter
A shelter of exhibits explains the Battle of the Wilderness. On weekends in the spring and fall and daily during the summer, the shelter is manned by a historian.
Exhibits on the Battle of the Wilderness
This 19th century view across Saunders Field is taken from a point near the Wilderness Exhibit Shelter. Note the Orange Turnpike on the left side of the image.
This modern photo was taken near where the previous 19th century image was made. The opening infantry shots of the battle occurred in this field, one of the few clearings in the dense woods of the Wilderness.
The battle began with the 140th New York in colorful Zouave uniforms crossing Saunders Field to attack Confederates of Richard Ewell's Corps on the ridge. The 140th New York Monument was dedicated in May of 1989 during ceremonies commemorating the 125th anniversary of the battle.
The two-mile Gordon Flank Attack Trail
begins at the Exhibit Shelter and follows the opening Union attack across Saunders Field. Upon reaching the Confederate lines, the path follows the Confederate earthworks before crossing over to the Union trenches, which it follows back to the Exhibit Shelter.
The trail provides access to some of the best preserved earthworks in the park. Along the trail there are exhibits to explain the history.
On the evening of May 6, Confederate John Brown Gordon led a famous attack upon the Union right flank. The combination of Union reinforcements and darkness stopped the attack after an initial success. The earthworks where Gordon's men dug in that evening can be seen by visitors who hike the Gordon Flank Attack Trail.