The 155th Anniversary of the Battle of the Wilderness
Saturday and Sunday, May 4 & 5, 2019
Friends of Wilderness Battlefield is pleased to host a special Living History event to mark the 155th anniversary of the Battle of the Wilderness, on Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5. This will be an interactive weekend marked by the opportunity for the public to get up close and personal with living historians who portray famous participants in the battle, including Union General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant, army commander George G. Meade, one of the army’s infantry corps commanders Gouverneur K. Warren and Union Cavalry Corps commander Philip H. Sheridan.
Living historians representing President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and General Grant will replicate a Council of War held in March, 1864 shortly after Grant returned to Washington, DC from his first visit with Meade and his army near Culpeper, VA. Stanton suggested that sculptor John Rogers depict the scene in which Grant proposed his plans for the upcoming campaign that began with the Battle of the Wilderness. The sculpture was called “The Council of War.” This vignette will occur at 1:00 PM and possibly at other times throughout the day depending upon interest.
At 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM, visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to participate in “military maneuvers” using wooden “muskets” as they march beside the living history soldiers.
Among the unique living history representations with be a display on the type of observation balloons used during the Civil War to gather intelligence on enemy troop dispositions and movements, that were prominently used in earlier campaigns in the Fredericksburg area.
Friends of Wilderness Battlefield interpreters will conduct a guided one hour and fifteen-minute walking tour of the Wilderness Crossing Trail at 3:00 PM both days. A 30-minute walking tour of the grounds will be offered at noon as well. Sturdy walking shoes and bug spray are recommended and don’t forget to bring a bottle of water.
A full field hospital will be on the grounds, and a living historian portraying a Civil War surgeon will be in the Ellwood manor house to visit with those interested in Civil War era medicine. The Spotsylvania Civilian Corps will be present to recreate what civilian life was like at the time of the battle. Bring the entire family and enjoy either day.
Ellwood Manor will be open from 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. and Friends of Wilderness Battlefield volunteer interpreters will be available to talk with visitors and answer questions.
Event is free and open to the public.
Ellwood Manor is a circa 1790 house within Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. The cemetery contains the grave of Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson's amputated arm from the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the house was a Federal headquarters during the Battle of the Wilderness. Ellwood Manor is owned by the National Park Service. Friends of Wilderness Battlefield is pleased to steward the property in partnership with the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. For more information or directions, please visit us at www.fowb.org.
Ellwood Manor is located off of Hwy 20, about .7 of a mile from the intersection of Rt. 3 and Hwy 20.