Brock Road-Plank Road Intersection

A road intersection with Civil War trenches alongside.
The Brock Road-Plank Road intersection was a critical juncture at the Battle of the Wilderness.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Trailhead

The juncture of these two roads through the Wilderness was strategically important for both armies. Thousands of soldiers, horses, cannons, and wagons needed established roads for mobility, and there were limited options in this region. The Brock Road provided access south for US forces to gain the inside track to Richmond. Lee could block the US forces if the Confederates controlled the Brock Road. Thus, the adversaries contended for it throughout the battle.

Initially, a nominal Federal presence held the intersection on the afternoon of May 5th. Additional US troops were directed to the vicinity and after heavy fighting the US troops maintained control. On the morning of May 6th, a large US attack was staged from this area but later driven back to entrenchments along the Brock Road. Confederate assaults were repulsed at the earthworks as the woods ignited in flames.

The Battle of the Wilderness became notorious for the horrific fires that consumed some of the wounded who were unable to escape. After two days of fighting, the US Army maintained its hold of the intersection and used the Brock Road to move southward. In a notable moment of the war, US soldiers cheered for General Grant as he ordered them onward to continue the campaign of attrition.


While you're here..

Walk the Vermont Monumnet Trail

0.4 mi (.7 km) loop
Start: Brock Road-Plank Road Intersection, Tour Stop 8.

Walk the same ground as the renowned Vermont Brigade and see the memorial to this unit which bore the brunt of the fighting in this area.

Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

Last updated: April 5, 2024