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Road to Appomattox

Virginia: The Wilderness battle begins

1 Jan, 1970

The Army of the Potomac and and the independent Ninth Corps cross the Rapidan River and engage Confederate forces in the dense woodland area called the Wilderness, in Orange and Spotsylvania counties.   The Union Fifth Corps, under General Gouverneur Warren, tangles with Confederate General Richard Ewell’s corps on the Orange Turnpike in the morning.  That afternoon, Confederate General A. P. Hill’s corps meets US General George Getty’s Sixth Corps and General Winfield Hancock’s Second Corps on the Plank Road.  Fighting is intense everywhere, but the dense woods hinder it.  Results overall are inconclusive by the time night falls.  Both sides rush reinforcements forward during the night.