Kyle Bondo explores the unforeseen events that transpire in The Wilderness during the early morning hours of May 5th, 1864.
It’s dawn on May 5th, 1864 — Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, Major General George Meade, and the Army of the Potomac have spent the night in the fabled WILDERNESS. Now, as the morning sun rises on a new day, what started as an easy march out of the thickets quickly spins out of control after a series of unexpected enemy surprises.
“My pickets report nothing new from the enemy this morning.”
— Brig.Gen. Wilson’s Scouting Report Regarding Orange Plank Road from Parker’s Store sent to Maj.Gen. Meade at 5:00 AM, May 5th, 1864
“An unconfirmed report placed enemy soldiers on the Orange Turnpike. Concluding that Griffin probably faced an inconsequential rebel diversionary force. […] I have no intention of modifying my corps’ movements.”
— Maj.Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren, Commander, US Army V Corps
“If they want to fight here, then we will fight here!”
— Lt.Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
“What had begun as a hopeful morning’s march was rapidly taking an ugly, familiar turn. Once again, the Union high command had underestimated Lee’s audacity.”
— Gordon Rhea, Battle of the Wilderness
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War Yankee Telegraph Department
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