The purpose of the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield (FoWB) is to assist the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FRSP) in its efforts to preserve the Wilderness Battlefield in Spotsylvania and Orange Counties. The Friends provide advocacy, educational programs, and service projects for the battlefield.


FoWB comprises members from more than two dozen states and Canada. Nearly one-half of our members reside in the Virginia counties of Orange and Spotsylvania. Local members are integrally involved with the organization and its preservation activities, including interpretation at Ellwood, battlefield maintenance, events support, and community outreach and education.

Members from outside the immediate battlefield area share varied reasons for their backing of FoWB, be it a zeal for history, a passion for preservation, or an ancestral connection.

Regardless of where they reside, every member understands and champions FoWB’s goal of protecting and preserving the Wilderness Battlefield. Their support is the foundation of the organization’s success.

National Park Partnership

Friends of Wilderness Battlefield works in partnership with the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FRSP), a unit of the National Park Service. FRSP includes four major battlefields: Wilderness, Chancellorsvillle, Spotsylvania Court House, and Fredericksburg.

The formal agreement between FoWB and FRSP “recognizes FoWB as the primary organization suited to maintain the Ellwood Manor grounds and buildings and to provide on-site visitor interpretation of the history of Ellwood and the Civil War as it relates to the site.” Ellwood interpreters are dual volunteers for both FoWB and FRSP.

VDHR Partnership

Friends of Wilderness Battlefield has a cooperative management agreement with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to assist in monitoring and maintaining a 48-plus acre battlefield tract in Orange County donated in 2013 by Wal-Mart to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The agreement between FOWB and DHR is formalized through a Wilderness Tract Management Plan that spells out the responsibilities of each party. The initial term of the agreement is for two years (2015-2016), during which time FOWB will provide regular maintenance of the property.

Non-Profit Statement

Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations to FoWB are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our tax ID is 42–1689437. FoWB is registered in Virginia as a Charitable Organization. Upon request a financial statement is available from the Virginia State Office of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service.