The 1.4 acre parcel is small when considering the size of the Wilderness battlefield but historians say its historic pedigree as Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ‘s daytime headquarters makes its importance much larger than its size. The battle, which took place along the boundary line between Orange and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia between May 5 and 7, 1864, marked the first time Grant and General Robert E. Lee met in combat.
The property, purchased for about $215,000, was financed jointly by the Civil War Trust and a grant from Virginia's Transportation Enhancement Program. Located on Rt. 20 in Orange County, the parcel includes a modern residence and a large lawn.
Trust spokesman Jim Campi said the family living in the house will leave by the end of the year and the Trust will begin to restore the land to its 1864 appearance of a clearing within a wooded area.
At the announcement this week, held at a different location on the battlefield, Trust president James Lighthizer said the purchase of the Grant headquarters property was made possible through the joint efforts of preservation supporters on the national, state and local levels. “By working together we are able to ensure that the places where history unfolded are protected for future generations to visit and explore,” he said.
Campi said the Trust expects to transfer the ownership of the land to the National Park Service within the next few years.