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The North Anna Campaign by Markers. Use the “First >>” button above to see these markers in sequence.
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — EA 1 — North Anna River Campaign21-26 May 1864
Approaching Richmond from the north after the Wilderness Campaign, Lt. General U.S. Grant sought to cross the North Anna River and capture the critical rail center at Hanover Junction (Doswell). General R. E. Lee ordered the construction of a complex web of earthworks here to defend the river crossing and junction. The Union army probed the defenses and captured some of them but soon abandoned the effort and moved east toward Cold Harbor. — Map (db m14867) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Massaponax — E 78 — Massaponax Baptist Church
Massaponax Baptist Church, built in 1859, served a congregation founded in 1788. On 21 May 1864 Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his commanders conferred on pews in the churchyard as the Union army marched from the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield to the North Anna River. Photographer Timothy O'Sullivan hauled his heavy stereo camera to the balcony of the church and recorded this conference in a unique series of candid images showing a war council in progress. — Map (db m1719) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Massaponax — Massaponax ChurchCouncil of War — Lee vs. Grant — The 1864 Campaign
Two weeks of fighting at Spotsylvania had resulted in a bloody draw. On May 21, 1864, the Army of the Potomac left its trenches outside the village and began moving east and south, hoping to lure the Confederated into the open where it could attack them to greater advantage. At 10 a.m. Gens. U.S. Grant and George Meade broke camp near Spotsylvania. They reached Massaponax Church, on Telegraph Road, about noon. After a brief conference, the generals and the army moved on to Guinea . . . — Map (db m1726) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Massaponax — E 36 — Road to Guinea Station
On 4 May 1863, the ambulance bearing wounded Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas J. (“Stonewall”) Jackson from the Chancellorsville battlefield turned east here en route to Guinea Station, where he died on 10 May. A year later, Union troops of the Army of the Potomac followed the same route when marching from the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield south to Totopotomoy Creek in Hanover County. During this march, Union generals Grant and Meade stopped briefly at Massaponax Baptist Church, located two-thirds of a mile north of here. — Map (db m1717) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Massaponax — Plantations on Guinea Station RoadAntebellum Homes
Lee vs. Grant – The 1864 Campaign Union troops took this road on May 21, 1864, as they left Spotsylvania and headed toward Guinea Station. One year earlier, “Stonewall” Jackson’s ambulance had used this same road to carry the wounded Confederate general from a field hospital in the Wilderness to Thomas Chandler’s home, Fairfield.           Many of the dwellings passed by Jackson and the Union army as they traveled to Guinea Station still exist. One of them, . . . — Map (db m3707) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Guinea — Guinea StationGrant Maneuvers South
Lee vs. Grant – The 1864 Campaign General Winfield Hancock’s Union Second corps left Spotsylvania Court House after sunset on May 290, 1864. It trudged south along dark roads, headed toward Milford Station on the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad. Grant had ordered Hancock to Milford in the hope of luring the Confederate army out of its Spotsylvania trenches to a place where he could attack it and have the advantage. Hancock reached Guinea Station about dawn, May . . . — Map (db m3308) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Woodford — Bethel ChurchUnion Command Meets
Lee vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign "At the church…the 9th Corps was marching past, and Burnside was sitting, like a comfortable abbot, in one of the pews, surrounded by his buckish staff whose appearance is the reverse of clerical.” – Theodore Lyman, aide-de-camp to Meade. On May 21, 1864, Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s Ninth Corps left Spotsylvania and pursued the retreating Confederate army southward. When Rebel cavalry blocked Burnside’s passage of the Po River at . . . — Map (db m4760) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Bowling Green — Caroline County CourthouseUnion Troops Filled the Roads to Richmond — Lee Vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign
On May 21, 1864, Gen. Winfield S. Hancock’s Second Corps passed through Bowling Green. Union soldiers broke into stores, looted homes and freed prisoners from the jail. Documents from the ransacked courthouse littered the streets. A few bold souls ventured outside to hurl epithets at their tormentors. “Are you going to Richmond?” cried one woman. “You’ll all lay your bones in the ground before you get sight of it!” To help restore order, a young Union captain named . . . — Map (db m12965) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Milford — Milford StationLee Avoids A Trap — Lee vs. Grant – The 1864 Campaign
Unable to crack Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s strongly fortified lines at Spotsylvania Court House, Union Gen. Grant ordered Gen. Winfield Hancock’s Second Corps to cross the Mattaponi River here at Milford Station and threaten the Confederate army’s line of supply. Grant hoped Lee would try to overpower Hancock’s isolated corps, thereby exposing his own army to attack. Gen. Alfred Torbert’s cavalry led Hancock’s column. When Torbert reached Milford Station on May 21, 1864, he found . . . — Map (db m19285) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Thornburg — E 35 — Stanard’s Mill
Unable to defeat the Confederates at Spotsylvania Court House, on 21 May 1864 Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered the Army of the Potomac to march toward Bowling Green. Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s Ninth Corps brought up the rear. Grant ordered Burnside to pursue the Confederates down Telegraph Road (present day U.S. Rte. 1), while the rest of the army struck at Robert E. Lee’s troops from the east. Burnside encountered a small entrenched Confederate force at the Po River here at Stanard’s . . . — Map (db m1722) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Thornburg — E 32 — Mud Tavern
Mud Tavern was the old name of this place. Six miles east, at Guinea Station, Stonewall Jackson died, May 10, 1863. In the campaign of 1864, Ewell’s and Longstreet’s corps of Lee’s army, coming from Spotsylvania Courthouse, here turned south, May 21, 1864. Lee fell back to the North Anna River as Grant swung around to the east. — Map (db m1720) HM
Virginia (Spotsylvania County), Arcadia — E-31 — Jerrell’s Mill
Here, on May 9, 1864, Sheridan was attacked by Wickham’s cavalry. Nearby, on May 22, 1864, Warren’s (Fifth) Corps, moving to the North Anna, fought Rosser's cavalry. — Map (db m3320) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Nancy Wrights Corner — E-28 — Nancy Wright’s
A little to the east, at Nancy Wright's, Warren's (Fifth) and Wright's (Sixth) Corps, coming from the east, on May 22, 1864, turned south. Wright camped here on May 22. — Map (db m3318) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Ladysmith — E-27 — Maneuvering to the North Anna River
Unable to defeat Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederates during the Spotsylvania Courthouse battles 8-19 May 1864, Union commander Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's forces maneuvered east and south forcing Lee to abandon his entrenched position. The Confederates moved south along Telegraph Road (now U.S. Rte. 1) on 21 May. Union troops, marching along a parallel route, missed a golden opportunity to strike Lee's army. The Federals fell behind the Confederates near this point and followed them to the North . . . — Map (db m9214) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Ladysmith — E 26 — Dickinson's Mill
Lee camped here, on May 21, 1864, on his way to the North Anna to oppose Grant moving southward. Ewell's and Longstreet's corps rested here that night. — Map (db m10648) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Carmel Church — E-25 — Grant’s Operations
Here, at Mount Carmel Church, on May 23, 1864, Hancock’s (Second) Corps turned south to the North Anna River; Warren’s (Fifth) Corps and Wright’s (Sixth) Corps here turned west to Jericho Mills on the River. Grant had his headquarters in the church on May 24. On May 27, 1864, the four corps of Grant’s army, returning from the North Anna, here turned east to Cold Harbor. — Map (db m3696) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Carmel Church — Carmel ChurchGathering for North Anna — Lee vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign
The scattered corps of the Union army reunited here at Carmel Church (known during the war as Mount Carmel Church) on May 23 before attacking Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee across the North Anna River, approximately three miles ahead. Gen. Winfield Hancock’s Second Corps advanced down the Telegraph Road (modern Route 1) and seized the Chesterfield Bridge. The Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Corps swung west and headed towards Jericho Mills and Ox Ford. For four days the Union and Confederate . . . — Map (db m3693) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Carmel Church — E 24 — Long Creek Action
The earthworks in the angle between this stream and the North Anna River, held by a small Confederate force, were taken by Grant's troops moving southward on May 23, 1864. The Unionists then advanced to the river, on the south side of which was Lee's Army. — Map (db m86146) HM
Virginia (Caroline County), Doswell — E 23 — Lee and Grant
Lee and Grant faced each other on the North Anna, May 23-26, 1864. Union forces crossed here and four miles to the west but found they could not dislodge Lee's center, which rested on the stream. Grant then turned east to Cold Harbor. — Map (db m10644) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — The Fight for North Anna / The North Anna Battlefield
(west side of Marker): The Fight for North Anna On May 21, 1864, Union General Ulysses S. Grant directed the Army of the Potomac away from Spotsylvania Court House in a turning movement toward Hanover Junction, today known as Doswell. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of General Robert E. Lee, had checked Grant’s southward advance at the Wilderness, May 5-6, and at Spotsylvania Court House, May 8-20, 1864. Grant was determined to continue his advance and . . . — Map (db m15164) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Dead of the North Anna Battlefield
This monument honors all the valiant men who lost their lives on the battlefields of the North Anna May 23-26, 1864 “No more shall the war cry sever, or the winding rivers be red; They banish our anger forever when they laurel the graves of our dead! Under the sod and the dew, waiting the Judgement Day; Love and tears for the blue, tears and love for the gray.” In memory of Cpl. Michael Shortell 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company G, Iron Brigade Born: November 24, 1840 . . . — Map (db m15167) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 1 — The Ox Ford RoadMay 23, 1864 11:00am - 8:00pm — Gray Trail
At 11:00 a.m. six cannon of Major John Lane’s Georgia artillery battalion, followed closely by Brigadier General Edward A. Perry’s weakened 270-man Florida infantry brigade, moved down this road to cover the vital crossing of Ox Ford. As the Union army threatened to cross the North Anna, eleven cannon of Lieutenant Colonel David G. McIntosh’s artillery battalion, supported by Brigadier General Ambrose “Rans” Wright’s Georgia infantry brigade, raced along the Ox Ford Road to . . . — Map (db m20946) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 2 — Colonel Weisiger's VirginiansMay 24, 1864 1:00pm - 4:00pm — Gray Trail
The five Virginia regiments led by Colonel David A. Weisiger began construction of the trenches before you on the morning of May 24 and continued to work on them during the next two days. The Virginians had been resting quietly near Anderson’s Tavern on the Virginia Central Railroad when a reported Union advance -- a movement begun before noon by Warren’s Fifth Corps -- prompted Lieutenant General A.P. Hill to move the remainder General Mahone’s division here to protect Ox Ford. Four cannon of . . . — Map (db m74893) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 3 — Battle on the Skirmish LineMay 24, 1864 2:00pm - 4:00pm — Gray Trail
Grant misinterpreted Lee’s withdrawal on May 23 and 24 as Confederate weakness and ordered the Army of the Potomac to brush aside any scattered Rebel resistance and advance to Richmond. Major General Ambrose E. Burnside received orders to move his Ninth Corps across the North Anna at Ox Ford and connect the two wings of the army as they advanced. Burnside quickly found the ford so strongly held that a crossing was impossible. Shortly after noon, attempting to flank the Southern defenders, he . . . — Map (db m20953) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 4 — One Brigade AloneMay 24, 1864 3:00pm - 4:00pm — Gray Trail
The first unit of the Union Ninth Corps to cross the North Anna was Brigadier General James H. Ledlie’s brigade. His 1,500 infantrymen were ready to advance by 3:00 p.m., despite having been soaked up to their armpits while crossing the river. Unfortunately for the Federals, one of the worst generals in the Union army commanded them. Ledlie had commanded the brigade for only seven days and had obtained little knowledge of his men. Worse, the general had consumed a large amount of whiskey and . . . — Map (db m20955) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 5 — The Heart of DixieMay 24, 1864 3:45pm — Gray Trail
The trenches before you were manned by the soldiers of Brigadier General Nathaniel Harris’ brigade of Mississippians, who had deployed just to the right of Sanders’ Alabamians by 1:00 p.m. on the 24th. The small pits behind the trench line served as an area from which the brigade commander, his staff, and his medical and supply personnel could operate in relative safety. From this point, Alabama soldiers ventured out at about 3:45 p.m. on the 24th and captured several men of the 35th . . . — Map (db m20956) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 6 — "Come on to Richmond"May 24, 1864 6:00pm — Gray Trail
Despite the disaster that had befallen the 35th Massachusetts, General Ledlie became even more determined to secure Ox Ford. Against the orders of his division commander, the drunken general ordered his unsupported brigade to assault the Confederate trenches before you. Mahone’s Confederates allowed the Federals to advance well into the field and, when Ledlie’s soldiers were within two hundred yards, opened on them with a deadly artillery and rifle fire. As rain from a heavy thunderstorm burst . . . — Map (db m20957) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 7 — "Save yourselves if you can"May 24, 1864 6:00 - 7:00pm — Gray Trail
As the imperiled Union brigade huddled in the ravine before you, General Mahone recognized that their bold assault was unsupported and ordered General Harris to send a regiment from these trenches to attack them. At 6:45 p.m. the 12th Mississippi came out of its earthworks and ran down the slope to your front, firing a volley at point blank range. Simultaneously, the 8th and 11th Alabama hit the exposed Union right flank. Ledlie’s men broke for the safety of the trees behind them. Several Union . . . — Map (db m20959) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 8 — The Inverted VMay 23, 1864 6:45pm — Gray Trail
You are now standing in the tip of the famous “inverted V” position constructed by Lee’s army along the North Anna River. The trenches on your left continued to the Little River, while those on the right anchored on a bend in the North Anna below Hanover Junction. This area was held by Brigadier General Ambrose “Rans” Wright’s Georgia brigade which assisted in repelling Ledlie’s brigade on the evening of May 24. The 2nd Georgia Infantry Battalion of Wright’s brigade held . . . — Map (db m20961) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 9 — One More River to CrossMay 24 - 26, 1864 — Gray Trail
From the gun pits served by McIntosh’s artillery battalion, you can easily see the natural strength of the Confederate position. The repulse of Ledlie’s brigade served as a warning to Grant that Lee was still on the North Anna in great strength and would fight to hold his line. On the evening of May 24, Grant found his army divided by the river into three parts. Lee, due to personal illness, was unable to take advantage of Grant’s mistake. During the time when the enemy was most vulnerable . . . — Map (db m20967) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Stop 10 — Artillery DuelMay 25 - 26, 1864 — Gray Trail
You are standing before the trench line of the 10th Georgia Battalion, which held the right flank of Wright’s brigade. The Florida brigade and Lane’s artillery battalion held the position across the ravine to your right. On May 25 and 26 cannon and sharpshooter fire was almost constant across the river. During this period the Union artillery, firing at the rate of about three rounds per minute, hurled at least 3,000 rounds into these ridges and ravines. On May 26 Union gunners opened fire with . . . — Map (db m20971) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — E 21 — Hanover Junction
Two 19th-century railroads crossed at grade level just east: the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac and the Virginia Central, which ran west to the Shenandoah Valley, the Confederacy’s breadbasket during the Civil War. This junction attained strategic importance in 1864 as the railroads carried supplies to Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and the Army of the Potomac attempted to disrupt that traffic to hinder Lee and capture Richmond. The Confederates, . . . — Map (db m14864) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Doswell — Hanover JunctionCritical Intersection — Lee vs. Grant — The 1864 Campaign
This junction was one of the most pivotal sites for the well-being of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army. Known during the war as Hanover Junction, it was the intersection of two important railroads. The Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad (RF&P) ran north from Richmond, past Guinea Station where “Stonewall” Jackson died in 1863, through Fredericksburg and to the Potomac River. The Virginia Central Railroad also came north from the capital city but veered west here and . . . — Map (db m3748) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Taylorsville — E 20 — Lee’s Movements
A short distance east, at Taylorsville, Lee had his headquarters, May 24–26, 1864, as his army moved southeastward to intervene between Grant and Richmond. There Ewell’s Corps turned to Cold Harbor, May 27, 1864. — Map (db m10641) HM
Virginia (Hanover County), Ashland — E 17 — Confederate March From the North Anna River
Following the Union army's departure from the North Anna River on 26 May 1864, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee cautiously moved his army south toward Richmond to stay between the Federals and the capital. Lee's wagon trains, using nearby Ellett's Bridge, crossed the South Anna River on 27 May. The Confederate First Corps, led by Lt. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, marched down the tracks of the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad and crossed the river on the railroad bridge just north of . . . — Map (db m17788) HM
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