top of page

About Wilderness

The opening battle of Grant’s sustained offensive against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, known as the Overland Campaign, was fought at the Wilderness, May 5-7. May 6 at noon, a devastating Confederate flank attack in Hamilton’s Thicket sputtered out when Lt. Gen. James Longstreet was wounded by his own men almost exactly a year after "Stonewall" Jackson's wounding in the same manner.

Wilderness Civil War Battlefields

Battlefield Ground Saved

18 acres

Grant's Knoll - Two tracts, 2001 & 2007

81.7 acres

Wilderness Crossroads II, 2012

93 acres

Wilderness Crossroads 2009

30.2 acres

Longstreet's Counter Attack - 2021

36 acres

 Gen. Battle's Counter Attack - 2021

Historical Significance

Grant's Knoll I

6 acres 2001

On May 4, 1864, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant established his headquarters in this area during his first confrontation with General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia.

Grant's Knoll II

12 acres 2007

As an added bonus, this ground also has links to the American Revolution. In the summer of 1781, the Marquis de Lafayette carefully evaded a powerful British force under Lord Cornwallis. He camped his relatively small force on this high ground, later reporting how they spent the night with weapons primed.

Wilderness Crossroads

93 acres 2010

One of the historic roads across this property is the old Orange Turnpike, which runs to the southwest, toward Elwood, the Colonial period home that served as General Warren’s Fifth Corps headquarters.  The other road is the original Plank Road that extends southeast to Brock Road and its intersection with Orange Plank Road, which became the storm center of the Wilderness fighting.

Wilderness Crossroads II

81 acres 2012

This land includes the site of the historic Wilderness Tavern. Its grounds were the site of the Confederate 2nd Corps field hospital in 1863 and where Stonewall Jackson had his left arm amputated. During the Wilderness campaign, Generals George Meade and Ulysses S. Grant were present here.

Longstreet's Counter Attack

30 acres 2021

On the morning of May 6, Ulysses S. Grant launched a major assault against Confederates along the Orange Plank Road, spearheaded by Winfield Scott Hancock’s Second Corps, which pushed from east to west. Even as things looked dire for the routed Confederates, James Longstreet’s First Corps arrived on the scene and counterattacked, pushing from west to east. The donated acreage saw major fighting in both phases of this see-saw action.

Gen. Battle's Counter Attack

36 acres 2021

On May 5, 1864, Brigadier General Joseph Bartlett’s brigade from Griffin’s Division charged across Saunders’ Field and crashed through the Confederate lines held by General Jones’s Virginians in the Second Corps near the crest of the high ground on the south side of the turnpike. In the Confederate rear reserve, Brigadier General Cullen A. Battle's Alabama regiments, surprised to find Jones’s men scurrying in retreat, swung his Alabama Brigade like a door, sweeping across the Orange Turnpike and slamming into Bartlett’s brigade. Bartlett’s brigade found itself outflanked as well and were forced to fall back, leaving the high ground at Saunder’s Field in Confederate hands.

Wilderness Battlefields
bottom of page