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The Wilderness

May 5 - 7, 1864

Spotsylvania and Orange Counties, Virginia

On May 5, 1864, the Union Army of the Potomac once again locked horns with the Army of Northern Virginia in the dense thickets known as the Wilderness of Spotsylvania. Over the course of two days, the two armies fought to a bloody stalemate, inaugurating a new era of violence in the war in the East. Though badly bloodied in the fighting, the Federals continued their march to the south.
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Gordon Saves the Day

Gordon Saves the Day

Lawyer-turned-soldier John B. Gordon arrives at the Wilderness in the nick of time.

Overland Campaign

Strategic Overview: Overland Campaign

Become familiar with the campaign that pitted Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee against Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the spring of 1864.

Featured Article

Gordon Rhea

"The Overland Campaign of 1864: Dodging Bullets"

Historian Gordon Rhea analyzes the actions of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as they faced off in Virginia.

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Acres Saved

In 2010, the Civil War Trust preserved a 49-acre portion of the Wilderness battlefield at Saunders Field, which has been transferred to the National Park Service

This battlefield was identified in our annual report History Under Siege™ in 2001 »  , 2009 »  , 2006 »  , and 2010 »


From Saunder's Field to the Brock Road, view our collection of photos from the Wilderness Battlefield.

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The Battle of the Wilderness erupts in Saunders Field

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