Key facts about the Battle of the Wilderness.
- May 5 –7, 1864
- Spotsylvania and Orange Counties, Virginia
Principal Union Ccommanders
Principal Confederate Commanders
- General Robert E. Lee
Union Forces Engaged
- Army of the Potomac
Confederate Forces Engaged
- Army of Northern Virginia
Number of Union Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 124,232
Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 60 – 65,000
Estimated Union Casualties
- 17,666 (2,246 killed, 12,037 wounded, 3,383 captured/missing)
Estimated Confederate Casualties
- 11,033 (1,477 killed, 7,866 wounded, 1,690 captured/missing)
- Although Major General George Meade commanded the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of the Wilderness, Meade’s superior, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, accompanied the Union army during the battle and throughout the remainder of the Overland Campaign.
- On May 6, 1864, Confederate soldiers severely wounded General James Longstreet during the Battle of the Wilderness just a few miles from where General Stonewall Jackson’s troops mortally wounded him at the Battle of Chancellorsville a year earlier.
- Although the Federals suffered higher casualties, the Battle of the Wilderness was tactically inconclusive; neither army defeated the other.
- Unlike other Union generals who retreated after suffering high losses in battles near the Wilderness (Ambrose Burnside at Fredericksburg in December 1862 and Joseph Hooker at Chancellorsville in 1863) Grant ordered Meade to disengage, march around the Army of Northern Virginia and forge farther into Southern territory.
Timeline of the Overland Campaign
These are the main battles and events of the Overland Campaign in order.
- May 5–7, 1864 — Battle of The Wilderness
- May 8–21 — Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
- May 11 — Battle of Yellow Tavern
- May 23–26 — Battle of North Anna
- May 24 — Battle of Wilson’s Wharf
- May 28 — Battle of Haw’s Shop
- May 28–30 — Battle of Totopotomoy Creek
- May 30 — Battle of Old Church
- May 31–June 12 — Battle of Cold Harbor
- June 11-12 — Battle of Trevilian Station
- June 24 — Battle of Saint Mary’s Church