Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign Page20
Photos/text this page courtesy of Richard Edling, Philadelphia, PA
North Anna Battle Timeline

North Anna Battlefield Park, Verdon Road (state Route 684) adjacent to the Martin Marietta Aggregates Quarry in Doswell. A 75-acre park offering trench works with rifle pits, which are considered among most pristine Civil War earthworks in existence. The park, which opened in 1996, has a 1- to 2-mile out-and-back walking trail with guided signs along the path with information on the battlefield and history. Much of the park is passive wooded area, and it overlooks the North Anna River. More than 150,000 soldiers faced one another in May 1864 and the battlefield was an important precursor to the Cold Harbor campaign.

Directions: Take I-95 north to Exit 98, go west on state Route 30 to U.S. 1 and turn right. After 1.5 miles, turn left onto state Route 684 and look for the park entrance on the right after about 2.5 miles.

Info: 365-4695 North Anna Battlefield Park

It was the final year of the Civil War, and the fighting was growing increasingly desperate in the heart of Virginia.

In an attempt to protect the crucial railroad junction in Hanover, Gen. Robert E. Lee devised a brilliant strategy. His troops staked out high ground along the North Anna River and built an impressive series of defensive earthworks in the shape of an inverted V.

They would lure the Federal troops across the river, effectively dividing them. Their position would force Gen. George Meade to cross the river twice in order to reinforce his separated corps.

It would have been a much-needed victory for the Confederates, but it was not to be.

Lee lost this golden opportunity. He was too sick to take the field and did not believe any of his inexperienced corps commanders could win a major battle against the numerically superior Federal forces.

Both sides withdrew after a few minor skirmishes, and the site of Lee's lost opportunity has been mostly overlooked in the history books


(2004) Enlarge Federal troops occupying line of breastworks on the North Bank - North Anna River, VA, May 1864


(2004) Enlarge Historical marker near Ashland on North Washington Highway (U.S. 1), 0.2 miles north of Cross Corner Road

The North Anna River is 6 miles north, The Little River is 2 miles north, and the South Anna River is 0.3 miles north of this marker


(2004) Enlarge Hanover Junction - the right wing of Lee's long line at North Anna. Lee wanted to hold this point where two railroad lines met

   (2004) Enlarge
(2004) Enlarge Hanover Junction   (2004) Enlarge Hanover Junction

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