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.
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.
Photos of Wilderness Battlefield: Click here.
Photos of Wilderness Monuments: Click here.
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.
Did You Know?
Walt Whitman's book "The Wound Dresser" contains a passage about his experience at Chatham during the Battle of Fredericksburg. He mentions a tree which is still standing in the front yard of Chatham.