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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

May 05, 1864

Battle of the Wilderness Began

In Virginia, the three-day Battle of the Wilderness began. The Union forces attacked the Confederates in a stand of dense woods known as The Wilderness - the same area where General Stonewall Jackson had crossed in secret to launch his surprise attack on the Union Flank at the Battle of Chancellorsville one year earlier. The first day’s fighting was inconclusive; neither side gained an advantage. Fighting halted as night fell, with both sides rushing reinforcements to the scene. Amongst the Confederate reinforcements was the corps of native Georgian General James Longstreet.