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Near Doswell in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle on the Skirmish Line

May 24, 1864 2:00 - 4:00pm

— Gray Trail —

 
 
Battle on the Skirmish Line Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
1. Battle on the Skirmish Line Marker
Inscription.  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 dispatched Ledlie’s brigade upstream to take the ford from the south bank.

Units of the Fifth Corps led by Brigadier General Samuel W. Crawford, supported Burnside’s advance but ran directly into the sharpshooter battalions of Weisiger’s Virginia and Colonel John C.C. Sanders’ Alabama brigades. The opposing forces clashed about 400 yards in front of these trenches and just beyond the tree line indicated on the map. Weisiger’s and Sanders’ 300 sharpshooters held the Union advance for two hours, giving their comrades time to complete the Confederate line.

“...we were attacked by the returning Yankee sharpshooters supported by a heavy
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line of battle...they had underestimated the character of the men before them, and were in turn cut down and driven back, some having been killed within thirty feet of our posts....” Captain John E. Laughton, Jr., Weisiger’s Sharpshooter Battalion

(sidebar)
Presented to the people of the United States by the General Crushed Stone Company. They preserved this battlefield, built the park, and donated it for public use.

(captions)
Major General Ambrose E. Burnside
The view from this trench line is similar to what Lee's Confederates saw here in May 1864.
 
Erected 1998 by Blue & Gray Education Society, Hanover County Parks and Recreation Department. (Marker Number Stop 3.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is May 24, 1864.
 
Location. 37° 53.112′ N, 77° 29.909′ W. Marker is near Doswell, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker can be reached from Verndon Road (Virginia Route 684) 0.2 miles west of New Market Mill Road (Virginia Route 685), on the right when traveling west. Located along the "Gray Trail" in North Anna Battlefield Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11576 Verdon Rd, Doswell VA 23047, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. One Brigade Alone (within shouting distance of this marker);
Battle on the Skirmish Line Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Blue & Gray Education Society
2. Battle on the Skirmish Line Marker
Colonel Weisiger's Virginians (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ox Ford Road (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Heart of Dixie (about 700 feet away); Run for Safety (approx. 0.2 miles away); Men From Massachusetts (approx. 0.2 miles away); Like the Coming of a Cyclone (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Come on to Richmond" (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Doswell.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. North Anna Battlefield Park "Gray Trail" Markers
 
Also see . . .
1. North Anna Battlefield Park. Hanover County Parks & Recreation (Submitted on July 3, 2014.) 

2. The Battle of North Anna. Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park (Submitted on July 19, 2009.) 

3. North Anna. American Battlefield Trust (Submitted on July 19, 2009.) 

4. North Anna Battlefield Park Sign Project. Blue & Gray Education Society (Submitted on February 25, 2020.) 
 
Stop 3 Map image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
3. Stop 3 Map
Stop 3 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
4. Stop 3
Nearby Confederate Trenchline image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
5. Nearby Confederate Trenchline
North Anna Battlefield Park Entrance (Verdon Rd) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
6. North Anna Battlefield Park Entrance (Verdon Rd)
North Anna Battlefield Park "Gray" Trail. image. Click for full size.
The General Crushed Stone Company
7. North Anna Battlefield Park "Gray" Trail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,277 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 19, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   2. submitted on February 25, 2020.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 19, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Apr. 18, 2024