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THE WILDERNESS
(PAGE 4 OF 12)










Wilderness Map
Click on a number on this map to see a photograph from that location.
The numbered locations on this map are shown in parentheses (   ) in the text.


 



Lee
Gen. Robert E. Lee   1



THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA'S LOCATION

When Lee received word, from signalmen on Clark's Mountain, of Grant's move into the Wilderness, Confederate General Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps and General Ambrose P. Hill's Third Corps were stationed near Orange Court House, about twenty miles southwest of Grant's forces. General James Longstreet's First Corps was more than ten miles farther away, at Gordonsville. Accordingly, Lee could respond with the Second and Third Corps, but it would take longer for Longstreet to bring up his First Corps.

 



Longstreet 10   Ewell 99   A.P. Hill 16
General James Longstreet
Confederate First Corps
  General Richard S. Ewell
Confederate Second Corps
  General Ambrose P. Hill
Confederate Third Corps



  THE ARMY OF NOTHERN VIRGINIA MOVES

However, Lee did not hesitate. He immediately placed the Army of Northern Virginia on the roads toward Grant. Ewell's Second Corps was sent northeast on the Orange Turnpike while Lee went with Hill's Third Corps on the parallel Orange Plank road. Longstreet was told to bring up his First Corps behind Hill on the Orange Plank road, but, at his request, his Corps traveled on the Catharpin Road, a third parallel road. Lee wanted no engagement until Longstreet's Corps was present.

THE BATTLE BEGINS

On the morning of May 5, 1864, Ewell's Confederate force, moving northeast on the Orange Turnpike, ran into Warren's Union Corps southeast of Germana Ford. Warren had orders to attack, and heavy fighting ensued, on and around Saunders* Field (10).

Thus started the battle of the Wilderness; a confusing and bloody battle which, before it ended on May 7, 1864, cost both armies an estimated 29,800 casualties (USA 18,400; CSA 11,400) and resulted in the deaths of Union generals James S. Wadsworth and Alexander Hays and Confederate generals John M. Jones, Micah Jenkins, and Leroy A. Stafford.



 
Saunders Field from Ewell Earthworks
Saunders Field from south of the Orange Turnpike   (10)

A grove of trees encircles the current National Park Service Visitors Shelter. The road is State Route 20, the Orange Turnpike. The photograph was taken from in front of the Ewell Earthworks, south of the Orange Turnpike (9).
 



 
Saunders Field from Ewell Earthworks
Saunders Field from north of the Orange Turnpike   (10)

A different view of the grove of trees around the current National Park Service Visitors Shelter. State Route 20, the Orange Turnpike, is on the right. The photograph was taken from in front of the Ewell Earthworks, north of the Orange Turnpike (9).
 




 
Saunders Field
Saunders Field and the 140th New York Monument.   (10)
The photograph was taken from the N.P.S. Shelter facing toward the Ewell Earthworks, north of the Orange Turnpike.
 




140th New York Monument
140th New York Monument in Saunders Field.  (10)

140TH NEW YORK STATE VOLS.
FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, FIFTH CORPS.
NUMBER ENGAGED 529
CASUALTIES
23 KILLED, 118 WOUNDED,
114 MISSING
 




PAGE FIVE



* "Saunder's Field" is also known as "Sander's Field" and "Palmer's Field".

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