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

Battle on the Skirmish Line

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

 

—Gray Trail —

 
Battle on the Skirmish Line Marker image. Click for full size.
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 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
Stop 3 Map image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
2. Stop 3 Map
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.
 
Erected by Blue & Gray Education Society, Hanover County Parks and Recreation Department. (Marker Number Stop 3.)
 
Location. 37° 53.112′ N, 77° 29.909′ W. Marker is near Doswell, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker can be reached from Verndon Road 0.2 miles west of New Market Mill Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located along the "Gray" trail in North Anna Battlefield Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11576 Verdon Rd, Doswell VA 23047, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. One Brigade Alone (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonel Weisiger's Virginians (within shouting distance of this marker); Run for Safety (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Ox Ford Road (about 600 feet away); The Heart of Dixie (about 700 feet away); Men from Massachusetts
North Anna Order of Battle. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
3. North Anna Order of Battle.
(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.
 
Regarding Battle on the Skirmish Line. On the right is a photo of "Major General Ambrose E. Burnside". A photo of open fields and earthworks carries the caption, "The view from this trench line is similar to what Lee's Confederates saw here in May 1864."
 
Also see . . .
1. CWSAC Battle Summaries. North Anna. (Submitted on July 19, 2009.) 

2. Civil War Preservation Trust. North Anna. (Submitted on July 19, 2009.) 

3. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefield Memorial National Military Park. Battle of North Anna. (Submitted on July 19, 2009.) 

4. North Anna Battlefield Park. Hanover County Parks & Recreation (Submitted on July 3, 2014.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Stop 3 image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
4. Stop 3
Nearby Confederate Trenchline image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
5. Nearby Confederate Trenchline
North Anna Battlefield Park "Gray" Trail. image. Click for full size.
By The General Crushed Stone Company
6. North Anna Battlefield Park "Gray" Trail.
North Anna Battlefield Park Entrance (Verdon Rd) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2009
7. North Anna Battlefield Park Entrance (Verdon Rd)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 19, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,026 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 19, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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