Battle of Wilderness

The Battle of the Wilderness was fought on May 5-6, 1864. It was the beginning of the Overland Campaign, the bloodiest campaign in American history and the turning point in the war in the Eastern Theatre.

Directions: To reach an exhibit shelter on the Wilderness Battlefield, from I-95 take exit 130 (Route 3) west for approximately eleven miles. Turn left at the traffic light at the intersection with Route 20. Proceed two miles. The shelter is on the right. It is an open air shelter without water or rest rooms.

Hours: The battlefield is open daily from sunrise to sunset. There is no visitor center on this battlefield. Historians at the Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Visitor Centers are available daily to orient visitors and answer questions about the Wilderness when the shelter is not manned.

Summary of Campaign:
To learn about the battle click here.

Walking Tour Brochure: There are several walking trails on the Wilderness Battlefield. Click here for the brochure for the Gordon Flank Attack Trail. Other trails go to Grant's Knoll, Chewning Plateau, Tapp Field and the new Vermont Monument. There are not brochures for these trails, but information is on exhibit signs along the trails. For a map of the trails on the west side of the battlefield click here and on east side of the battlefield click here.

Guided Walking Tours: Historians lead 45 minute walking tours starting at the exhibit shelter. Tours are given only on weekends and holidays at 11:00 and 2:00.

Driving Tour:
The Battle of the Wilderness is largely fought adjacent to two roads, the Orange Turnpike and Orange Plank Road. A five mile driving tour links the two sectors of the battlefield.

Virtual Tour: Take a virtual tour of the Wilderness Battlefield from your own home.

Photos of Wilderness Battlefield: Click here.

Photos of Wilderness Monuments: Click here.

Civilian Aspects:

Ellwood: Ellwood was owned by the Lacy family who also owned Chatham. It was a Confederate field hospital during the Battle of Chancellorsville. Stonewall Jackson's arm is buried in the cemetery. Ellwood was a Union field hospital and headquarters during the Battle of the Wilderness. To learn more about Ellwood and when it is open click here.



140th New York at the Wilderness

140th New York in Saunders Field at the Battle of the Wilderness

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