top of page

Battlefield Preservation

Preservation of Wilderness Battlefield and surrounding battlefields is the primary component of the mission of the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, and will be our most challenging task as long as our organization and the local battlefields exist.

Within days after the end of the Battle of the Wilderness in May, 1864, the earthworks began to erode, and some were plowed over by farmers.  Historic road traces were abandoned and lost, and new roads sometimes obliterated features of the battlefield.  Structures which would be meaningful to us, but which were no longer useful to their owners, were torn down or left to rot.  Homes and businesses were constructed in places where American soldiers marched, camped, fought and died.

The Wilderness Battlefield joined the National Park System with the establishment of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park on February 14, 1927.

Today, Ellwood is open on a seasonal basis with a ranger present and FOWB is focusing on battlefields owned by the Central Virginia Battlefield Trust and the American Battlefield Trust in the Wilderness area.

In addition to FoWB’s significant undertaking of the restoration of Ellwood Manor to its 1864 image, we have hundreds of volunteers who work on the battlefield in a myriad of events and projects throughout the year. For example, FoWB  locally sponsors the annual American Battlefield Trust’s Park Day.

Volunteers maintain walking trails, build foot bridges and give lectures to local schools and civic organizations. We trim and mow ; hammer and nail and scrape and paint. We repair structures and build new ones as needed, along with other like minded historic preservation organizations.  

Preservation, protection and promotion of the area battlefields by FoWB members continues to be a major focus in the battlefields continued growth as key Civil War tourism destinations. All of this is thanks to our loyal volunteers.

To become a Battlefield Volunteer, please complete an online application or contact us.

bottom of page