The Battle of the Wilderness
battle was fought May 5 to 7, 1864. It was the first battle of Lt. Gen.
Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Virginia Overland Campaign against Gen. Robert E.
Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
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1) The battlefield was the Wilderness of
Spotsylvania, an expanse of nearly impenetrable scrub growth and rough
terrain that encompassed more than 70 square miles of Spotsylvania County
and Orange County in central Virginia.
2) The Army of the Potomac, nominally under the
command of Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, but taking orders from Grant,
crossed the Rapidan River at three separate points and converged on the
Wilderness Tavern, which had been the concentration point for the
Confederates one year to the day earlier when they launched their
devastating attack on the Union right flank at Chancellorsville.
May 2, 1864
May 3, 1864
May 4, 1864
3) Who commanded Lee's Second Corps?
Richard S. Ewell
John C. Breckenridge
4) Who commanded Lee's Third Corps?
5) On the left, Lee's Second Corps met up with the
Union V Corps and fought it to a standoff. For much of the day Lee's
Second Corp's 18,500-man actually held a slight numerical advantage on
this part of the field. Who commanded the Union V Corps?
Gouverneur K. Warren
6) On May 6, Hancock, now commanding close to 40,000
men, resumed the attack on Lee's Third Corps, while heavy Union
reinforcements on Second Corps front prevented Lee from sending the to aid
the Third Corps. By late morning, Hancock had driven Lee's Third Corps
back more than two miles and inflicted heavy casualties. With the Third
Corps in dire straits Lee began to look desperately for the First Corps,
who had been expected hours before.
Who commanded Lee's First Corps?
7) The 12,000-man First Corps finally arrived at
around noon, with perfect timing: The Union's II Corps men were tired and
disorganized from six hours of fighting. When Lee's First Corps attacked
the Union forces they withdrew, and within two hours the situation was
totally reversed: Lee's First Corps had regained all the ground lost and
advanced one mile further, forcing Hancock to regroup along the Brock
8) In one of the more horrifying incidents of the
war, a brushfire broke out between the two armies' lines during the night.
Hundreds of wounded soldiers left on the field died screaming as they were
burned alive in front of their comrades.
9) On May 8 Grant ordered the Army of the Potomac to
resume its advance, skirmishing with Lee's Army and a few days later,
fighting another major, inconclusive battle at the Battle of Spotsylvania
Court House 10 miles to the southeast.
was the skirmish known as?
Battle of Todds Tavern
Battle of Rocky Bottom
Battle of Bates Hotel
10) The Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield have
been active in helping to preserve and enhance the Ellwood Mansion, which
was the headquarters for both Gouverneur K. Warren and Ambrose Burnside
during the battle and the family cemetery there holds the plot where
Stonewall Jackson's arm was buried.