In front of you are the remains of trenches manned by the Union army on May 5-6, 1864. When Gordon attacked these works from the north, your left, the Federals abandoned them and fell back to a new position one mile to your front and right. The Confederates then moved forward and seized the unoccupied entrenchments, rebuilding them to face in the opposite direction - the way you now face. Later they build a new line of works that ran perpendicular to this line, parallel to the Culpeper Mine Road. Those works are immediately to your right.
The armies rested uneasily behind their earthworks throughout May 7 while occasional fires, ignited by the fighting, swept through the woods. Although the Battle of the Wilderness resulted in nearly 30,000 casualties, it marked but the first step on the long road to Appomattox.