A 19th-century print offers a fanciful depiction of the desperate fighting along the Orange Plank on the second day of the Battle of the Wilderness. Although the battle ended in a draw with both sides suffering heavy casualties, the Army of the Potomac under the watchful eye of Commander-in-Chief Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant chose not to retreat, but continue south.

Battle of the Wilderness

James Longstreet’s Daring Advance

By Arnold Blumberg

The column of Confederates marched east as quietly as possible along the bed of an unfinished railroad that knifed through the Wilderness south of the Rapidan River shortly before midday on May 6, 1864. Read more

Battle of the Wilderness

Military Music of the Civil War

By James A. Davis

Winter was the calmest period for Civil War soldiers. Knowing that there was no combat immediately looming on the horizon allowed the soldiers to relax and recuperate in ways they had not been able to enjoy beafore. Read more

Battle of the Wilderness

Black Thursday at Sayler’s Creek

By David A. Norris

Four hundred Confederate sailors and marines, their small arms loaded and ready, awaited their orders. Some men had their cutlasses within easy reach. Read more

battle of the Wilderness

Battle of the Wilderness

Crossroads of Destiny: The Battle of the Wilderness

By Jonas L. Goldstein

The year 1864 was shaping up to be a critical one in the three-year-long Civil War. During the previous year, Federal armies had gained control of the Mississippi River and consolidated their grip on Tennessee. Read more