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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

May 06, 1864

Battle of the Wilderness (2)

In the second day of the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia, an early morning Union attack began pushing back the Confederates, until met with a withering counter-attack, led by General James Longstreet. The counter-attack sputtered around noon when Longstreet was injured (not fatally). Another Union attack was launched against the Confederate center lines, but was beaten back with heavy losses. For these two days, the casualty count (killed or wounded) was 18,400 for the Union and 11,400 for the Confederates. The battle was a strategic draw, but where previous Union generals had withdrawn after such costly battles, this time General Ulysses S. Grant did not; in fact he prepared to advance in another direction the next day.