“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Doswell in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Hanover Junction

Critical Intersection

— Lee vs. Grant — The 1864 Campaign —

Hanover Junction Civil War Trails marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, April 21, 2007
1. Hanover Junction Civil War Trails marker
This marker is part of the Lee vs Grant - The 1864 Campaign of the Virginia Civil War Trails.
Inscription.  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 ran through the fertile Piedmont country into the Shenandoah Valley. During all the famous campaigns of 1862-64, Lee’s army relied on these railroads for supplies.

The first serious threat to the lines came in late May 1864, during the battle at the North Anna River. Most of the RF&P was in Federal hands by then, and Grant’s army stood on the south bank of the river barely more than one mile from here. Lee’s headquarters was in a tent in the southwest angle of the railroad intersection. Confederate soldiers from Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s Second Corps defended the ground to your north. On May 24, while action raged to the west at Ox Ford (on the North
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Anna), Gen. John Gibbon’s division of the Union Second Corps advanced toward the junction. In thick woods just north of here, Gibbon collided with Confederates from Gen. Robert E. Rodes’ division in a violent but inconclusive fight known as the battle of Doswell House.

Grant would abandon the North Anna lines without reaching this vital railroad intersection.

(Sidebar): Hanover Junction was famous before the war as the site of Virginia’s largest horse racing track, located on the Doswell farm just east of here. The proprietor, Major Thomas W. Doswell, had been a Confederate staff officer earlier in the war. Nearby was the DeJarnette farm, which also suffered from the proximity of 150,000 soldiers. It lost all its crops and livestock. Mrs. Margaret Wight boarded there. “What a time of anxiety and suspense,” she wrote in her diary. “Nearly all the ladies in the neighborhood are fleeing from their homes.”
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1864.
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 37° 51.617′ 
Hanover Junction - Critical Intersection image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, April 21, 2007
2. Hanover Junction - Critical Intersection
Virginia Civil War marker with railroad in the background.
N, 77° 27.68′ W. Marker was near Doswell, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker was on Virginia Route 30, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located north of Ashland, just east of Route 1 at railroad junction. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Doswell VA 23047, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Hanover Junction (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lee’s Movements (approx. 1.2 miles away); North Anna River Campaign (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Shenandoah Lumber Company (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Eiffel Tower (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Blue Ridge Tollway (approx. 1.7 miles away); The Scooby-Doo Ghoster Coaster (approx. 1.7 miles away); Boo Boo's Tree Swings (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Doswell.
More about this marker. On the lower right is a map showing the "Situation along the North Anna River, May 24-26, 1864." A photo in the upper center shows, "The still-smoldering ruins of the RF&P bridge over the North Anna River, photographed on May 25, 1864, just hours after its destruction by retreating Confederates." In the upper right is a photo showing "The RF&P Railroad (seen here north of Fredericksburg) conveyed wounded from battlefields and supplied Lee’s army with food, forage and ammunition."
Credits. This page was last revised on October 17, 2018. It was originally submitted on November 27, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 3,867 times since then and 69 times this year. Last updated on October 15, 2018, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 27, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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May. 26, 2024