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Sun, May 21


Chancellorsville Battle Visitors Center

"Grant won't turn back," the Battle of the Wilderness Tour and Picnic

This Sunday, May 21, renowned Civil War Tourguide Craig Howell will explore Lincoln's relationship with his new commanding general, Ulysses S. Grant leading to the fierce Battle of the Wilderness. Sign-up directly with Craig at:

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"Grant won't turn back," the Battle of the Wilderness Tour and Picnic
"Grant won't turn back," the Battle of the Wilderness Tour and Picnic


May 21, 2023, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM EDT

Chancellorsville Battle Visitors Center, 9001 Plank Rd, Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA 22553, USA


About the Event

This annual event is a highlight of our programming year. This event will focus on the relationship between President Abraham Lincoln and newly-promoted Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant during the days leading up to the Battle of the Wilderness (May 5-6, 1864). This is the fight that inaugurated the bloody and frustrating Overland Campaign between the Rapidan and the James Rivers. A reporter for a New York newspaper visited General Grant's headquarters just before leaving for Washington on the evening of May 6 and asked if he could deliver a message to President Lincoln. Grant responded: "Tell the President there will be no turning back." No news could be more welcome to the man of whom an Illinois reporter had written some years earlier: "There is no back-down in Abraham Lincoln."

RSVP directly to Craig if you are able to join us. Craig's email is:

At noon, the Lincoln Group's resident tour guide Craig Howell will give us an orientation briefing about the events in the winter and early spring of 1864 that would develop a new Union strategy for the simultaneous movements of all Union forces against all Rebel armies. Craig will lead a car caravan driving tour of the Wilderness Battlefield, with stops at such places as Saunders Field, the Higgerson Farm, the Chewning Farm, the Widow Tapp Field, and the all-important intersection of the Orange Plank Road and the Brock Road. We will take short interpretive walks at some of these stops as time and weather allow. We should finish and be back at the Chancellorsville Visitor Center no later than 4:30 p.m.

Please indicate whether you can be one of our carpool drivers, whether you'll need a ride as a passenger yourself, or whether you will head directly to the Visitor Center on your own. Our tentative carpool plan is to gather at the East Falls Church Metro Station Kiss & Ride lot at North Sycamore and 19th Street at 9:30 a.m. Those wishing to avoid the nightmare of weekend traffic on I-95 are encouraged to consider an alternate flanking approach by going west on I-66, turning south on Route 29 at Gainesville, and then turning east on Route 3 at Culpeper.

We will gather in the picnic grounds adjacent to the Chancellorsville Visitor Center on Route 3 about 10 miles west of Fredericksburg, Virginia by 11 a.m. that morning, 9001 Plank Rd, Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA 22553. We will enjoy our picnic lunches and take time to go through the many films and exhibits at the Visitor Center.

There is no charge for this event.  Bring your own picnic lunch, drinks and snacks.

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