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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

May 6th, 1864 - The Battle of the Wilderness

Conflict: American Civil War (1861-1865)

Combatants: Confederates vs. Federals

Location: Virginia (USA)

Outcome: Inconclusive

Over the course of May 5th and 6th of 1864, General Ulysses Grant's Union forces clashed twice with Robert E. Lee's troops in the forests of the Wilderness. Though the combat was ultimately indecisive, the Federals lost 2246 killed and over 15,000 wounded and missing. Southern losses were over 7,000. Confederate General James Longstreet was also seriously wounded in this engagement by friendly fire.

Battle of the Wilderness by Kurz and Allison

Points of Interest:

  • Two Union and three Confederate generals were killed in the Battle of the Wilderness.

  • Both armies spent the following day reinforcing defensive positions, but Grant began moving troops southeast that evening.

General Robert E. Lee by Mathew Benjamin Brady
Major General Ulysses S. Grant by E. and H.T. Anthony



Bowman, John S. (Ed.) (1983). The Civil War Almanac. New York: World Almanac.

Catton, Bruce (1955). This Hallowed Ground. Kingsport, Tennessee: Kingsport Press, Inc.

Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).

Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

Hogue, James M. & McPherson, James M. (2009). Ordeal By Fire. New York: MaGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Long, E.B & Long, Barbara (1971). The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac 1861-1865. New York: De Capo Press, Inc.

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