Footsteps
In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee:
The Wilderness Through Cold Harbor

For forty days, the armies fought a grinding campaign from the Rapidan River to the James River that helped decide the course of the Civil War. Several of the war's bloodiest engagements occurred in this brief period: the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna River, Totopotomoy Creek, Bethesda Church, and Cold Harbor

Wilderness
Todd's Tavern, Brock Road
Civil War Virginia


American Civil War
May 5-7, 1864

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.

Wilderness
The Battle of the Wilderness
May 5-6, 1864

Fought in a tangled forest fringing the south bank of the Rapidan River, the Battle of the Wilderness marked the initial engagement in the climactic months of the Civil War in Virginia, and the first encounter between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee

On the morning of May 5, 1864, the Union V Corps attacked Ewell's Corps on the Orange Turnpike, while A.P. Hill's corps during the afternoon encountered Getty's Division (VI Corps) and Hancock's II Corps on the Plank Road. Fighting was fierce but inconclusive as both sides attempted to maneuver in the dense woods. Darkness halted the fighting, and both sides rushed forward reinforcements. 

At dawn on May 6, Hancock attacked along the Plank Road, driving Hill's Corps back in confusion. Longstreet's Corps arrived in time to prevent the collapse of the Confederate right flank.

At noon, a devastating Confederate flank attack in Hamilton's Thicket sputtered out when Lieutenant General James Longstreet was wounded by his own men.

The IX Corps (Burnside) moved against the Confederate center, but was repulsed. Union generals James S. Wadsworth and Alexander Hays were killed.

Confederate generals John M. Jones, Micah Jenkins, and Leroy A. Stafford were killed.

The battle was a tactical draw. Grant, however, did not retreat as had the other Union generals before him. On May 7, the Federals advanced by the left flank toward the crossroads of Spotsylvania Courthouse.

Result(s): Inconclusive (Grant continued his offensive.)

Other Names: Combats at Parker's Store, Craig's Meeting House, Todd's Tavern, Brock Road, the Furnaces

Location: Spotsylvania County

Campaign: Grant's Overland Campaign (May-June 1864) next battle in campaign Campaigns

Date(s): May 5-7, 1864

Principal Commanders: Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and Major General George G. Meade [US]; General Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: 162,920 total (US 101,895; CS 61,025)

Estimated Casualties: 29,800 total (US 18,400; CS 11,400)

Kindle Available
Grant Lee Warfare

Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign
Narrative history of military operations in the Overland Campaign of May and June, 1864: the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, and Cold Harbor. Describes Union and Confederate earthworks and how Grant and Lee used them in this new era of field entrenchments.

Fredericksburg Virginia Area Map of Battles

Click to enlarge Map
Virginia Civil War wilderness battle map
North Anne River
To the North Anna River
Grant and Lee, May 13-25, 1864

Spectacular narrative of the initial campaign between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in 1864. May 13 through 25, was critical in the clash between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia.



The Battle of the Wilderness
The Battle of the Wilderness
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Civil War Soldier 102 Piece Playset
 
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The Wilderness Campaign
Military Campaigns of the Civil War

In 1864, in the vast Virginia scrub forest known as the Wilderness, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee first met in battle. The Wilderness campaign of May 5-6 initiated an epic confrontation between these two Civil War commanders
Victory
Victory Without Triumph
The Wilderness, May 6th & 7th, 1864

John Priest meticulously details the vicious infantry fighting along the Plank Road, Longstreet's counterstrike against the II Corps, the cavalry operations of both armies near Todd's Tavern, and John B. Gordon's daring assault against the Army of the Potomac's right flank.
Spotsylvania
The Spotsylvania Campaign
The Spotsylvania Campaign marked a crucial period in the confrontation between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in Virginia. Waged over a two-week period in mid-May 1864, it included some of the most savage fighting of the Civil War and left indelible marks on all involved
Wilderness
The Battle of the Wilderness May 5-6, 1864
Fought in a tangled forest fringing the south bank of the Rapidan River, the Battle of the Wilderness marked the initial engagement in the climactic months of the Civil War in Virginia, and the first encounter between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee
Footsteps
In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee: The Wilderness Through Cold Harbor
For forty days, the armies fought a grinding campaign from the Rapidan River to the James River that helped decide the course of the Civil War. Several of the war's bloodiest engagements occurred in this brief period: the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna River, Totopotomoy Creek, Bethesda Church, and Cold Harbor
North Anne River
To the North Anna River
Grant and Lee, May 13-25, 1864

Spectacular narrative of the initial campaign between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in 1864. May 13 through 25, was critical in the clash between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia.
Kindle Available

One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia
The first detailed military history of Lee's retreat and the Union effort to catch and destroy the wounded Army of Northern Virginia Complimented with 18 original maps, dozens of photos, and a complete driving tour with GPS coordinates of the entire retreat

Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864
This chronicles the great 1864 Overland Campaign, forty days that marked the end of the Civil War. In detail the battles in Virginia's Wilderness to the combat at Spotsylvania the trap laid by Lee at the North Anna River, to the killing ground of Cold Harbor

Turn Homeward, Hannalee
During the closing days of the Civil War, plucky 12-year-old Hannalee Reed, sent north to work in a Yankee mill, struggles to return to the family she left behind in war-torn Georgia. "A fast-moving novel based upon an actual historical incident with a spunky heroine and fine historical detail."--School Library Journal.

My Brothers Keeper
Virginia Dickens is angry. Her father and brother Jed have left her behind while they go off to Uncle Jack's farm to help him hide his horses from Confederate raiders. It's the summer of 1863 and Pa and Jed believe 9-year-old Virginia will be out of harm's way in the sleepy little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Kindle Available

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina 1865
Not only is 12-year-old Patsy a slave, but she's also one of the least important slaves, since she stutters and walks with a limp. So when the war ends and she's given her freedom, Patsy is naturally curious and afraid of what her future will hold.

Numbering The Bones
The Civil War is at an end, but for thirteen-year-old Eulinda, it is no time to rejoice. Her younger brother Zeke was sold away, her older brother Neddy joined the Northern war effort,. With the help of Clara Barton, the eventual founder of the Red Cross, Eulinda must find a way to let go of the skeletons from her past.
Bad Blood Civil War Misouri and Kansas
Bad Blood: The Border War That Triggered the Civil War
In the years leading up to the Civil War, a bloody conflict between slaveholders and abolitionists focused the nation's eyes on the state of Missouri and the territory of Kansas. Told through the actual words of slave owners, free-staters, border ruffians, and politicians, Bad Blood presents the complex morality, differing values, and life-and-death decisions faced by those who lived on the Missouri-Kansas border

Blue Vs. Gray - Killing Fields
Relive the most vicious fighting of the Civil War, in which General Ulysses S. Grant forcibly reversed the tide of the conflict by paying with the blood of thousands. It was a desperate time for the Union

The Civil War in Virginia
Virginia was the arena where North and South fought many of their bloodiest battles. the program gives a full account of the events that took place describing in detail the history of the American Civil War in Virginia

The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one



Sources:
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.

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