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The Battle of the Wilderness

The battle was fought May 5 to 7, 1864.  It was the first battle of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Virginia Overland Campaign against Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

What do you know about the Battle of the Wilderness?
Try this U.S. Civil War History Made Easy Quiz.
"Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

Take 2 points for each right answer.  Maximum this page: 20 points!

1) The battlefield was the Wilderness of Spotsylvania, an expanse of nearly impenetrable scrub growth and rough terrain that encompassed more than 70 square miles of Spotsylvania County and Orange County in central Virginia.Trivia powered by Prof. ABE

  • True or False?

2) The Army of the Potomac, nominally under the command of Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, but taking orders from Grant, crossed the Rapidan River at three separate points and converged on the Wilderness Tavern, which had been the concentration point for the Confederates one year to the day earlier when they launched their devastating attack on the Union right flank at Chancellorsville.
What was the date?

  1. May 2, 1864

  2. May 3, 1864

  3. May 4, 1864

3) Who commanded Lee's Second Corps?

  1. Richard S. Ewell

  2. John C. Breckenridge

  3. Mark Reynolds

4) Who commanded Lee's Third Corps?

  1. John Patton

  2. Marcus Wright

  3. A.P. Hill

5) On the left, Lee's Second Corps met up with the Union V Corps and fought it to a standoff. For much of the day Lee's Second Corp's 18,500-man actually held a slight numerical advantage on this part of the field. Who commanded the Union V Corps?

  1. Marvin Rodgers

  2. Gouverneur K. Warren

  3. Norman Scott

6) On May 6, Hancock, now commanding close to 40,000 men, resumed the attack on Lee's Third Corps, while heavy Union reinforcements on Second Corps front prevented Lee from sending the to aid the Third Corps. By late morning, Hancock had driven Lee's Third Corps back more than two miles and inflicted heavy casualties. With the Third Corps in dire straits Lee began to look desperately for the First Corps, who had been expected hours before.
Who commanded Lee's First Corps?

  1. James Longstreet

  2. Ira Hayes

  3. Daniel Morgan

7) The 12,000-man First Corps finally arrived at around noon, with perfect timing: The Union's II Corps men were tired and disorganized from six hours of fighting. When Lee's First Corps attacked the Union forces they withdrew, and within two hours the situation was totally reversed: Lee's First Corps had regained all the ground lost and advanced one mile further, forcing Hancock to regroup along the Brock Road.

  • True or False?

8) In one of the more horrifying incidents of the war, a brushfire broke out between the two armies' lines during the night. Hundreds of wounded soldiers left on the field died screaming as they were burned alive in front of their comrades.

  • True or False?

9) On May 8 Grant ordered the Army of the Potomac to resume its advance, skirmishing with Lee's Army and a few days later, fighting another major, inconclusive battle at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House 10 miles to the southeast.


 was the skirmish known as?

  1. Battle of Todds Tavern

  2. Battle of Rocky Bottom

  3. Battle of Bates Hotel

10) The Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield have been active in helping to preserve and enhance the Ellwood Mansion, which was the headquarters for both Gouverneur K. Warren and Ambrose Burnside during the battle and the family cemetery there holds the plot where Stonewall Jackson's arm was buried.

  • True or False?

More Gettysburg Civil War Trivia

Battle of the Wilderness

1) True  2) A.  3) A.  4) C.  5) B.  6) A.  7) True.  8) True.  9) A.  10) True.

Score for this page: _______


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