Battle of North Anna

Pontoon bridge constructed by Union engineers for crossing the North Anna River
Grant and his staff at Massaponax Church, Virginia, May 21, planning movements to the North Anna
Actions on May 23
Taylor's Bridge, also known as the Chesterfield Bridge, where the Telegraph Road crosses the North Anna River.
A view of the pontoon bridge across the North Anna from Jericho Mills
Actions on May 24
Quarles Mill, where Grant and Meade placed their headquarters
Another view of the Quarles Mill dam. White tents above are the Union General Headquarters
Stalemate: Union and Confederate positions May 25–26

Fought May 23–26, 1864, as part of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

- Battle of North Anna
Pontoon bridge constructed by Union engineers for crossing the North Anna River

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Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, respectively, opposing commanders in the Overland Campaign

Overland Campaign

Series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June 1864, in the American Civil War.

Series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June 1864, in the American Civil War.

Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, respectively, opposing commanders in the Overland Campaign
Sheridan's Richmond Raid, including the Battles of Yellow Tavern and Meadow Bridge
Union staff meeting at Massaponax Baptist Church on May 21, 1864. Grant has his back to the smaller tree with Charles Anderson Dana to his left, while Meade is seated at the far left.
Movements in the Overland Campaign, May 27–29, 1864, following the Battle of North Anna
Movement to Totopotomoy, May 25–28, 1864, following the Battle of North Anna
Battle of Haw's Shop
Movements in the Overland Campaign, May 29, and actions May 30, 1864
Battle of Totopotomoy Creek, May 30, 1864
Maj. Gen. William F. "Baldy" Smith
Positions of the armies on the afternoon of June 1, 1864
Cold Harbor, June 1
Cold Harbor, June 3
Cold Harbor, Virginia. African Americans collecting bones of soldiers killed in the battle. Photo by John Reekie, April 1865.
Pontoon bridge across the James River
Crossing the James River, 12–16 June 1864.
Routes of Federal and Confederate cavalry to Trevilian Station, June 7–10, 1864
Sheridan's return to the Army of the Potomac from his Trevilian Station raid
Actions in the Wilderness, May 5, 1864.
5 a.m., May 6. Hancock attacks Hill on the Plank Road
6–10 a.m., May 6. Longstreet counterattacks
11 a.m., May 6. Longstreet attacks Hancock's flank from the railroad bed
2 p.m. until dark, May 6.
Movements on May 7, 1864; cavalry actions inset
Positions and movements on the Union flanks, May 9
Grant attacks, May 10
Grant's grand assault, May 12
Reorienting the lines, May 13–16
Movements, May 17, final Union attacks, May 18
Actions on May 23: Hancock attacks "Henagan's Redoubt", A.P. Hill attempts to repulse Warren's beachhead
Actions on May 24: Ledlie attacks Ox Ford, Hancock attempts to advance against the eastern leg of the inverted "V"
Stalemate: Union and Confederate positions May 25–26
Rodes's attack
Ramseur's attack
Actions on June 11
Actions on June 12
Key to operational maps.
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Grant maneuvered again, meeting Lee at the North Anna River (Battle of North Anna, May 23–26).

Battle of Spottsylvania, Thure de Thulstrup

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

The second major battle in Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War.

The second major battle in Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War.

Battle of Spottsylvania, Thure de Thulstrup
Map of Southeastern Virginia.
Union marches and operations in Central Virginia (1864-65).
Spotsylvania Courthouse, 1864
Attacks on the Laurel Hill line, May 8
<center>Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick, VI Corps</center>
Positions and movements on the Union flanks, May 9
Grant attacks, May 10
Grant attacks, May 10 (additional map).
Upton's brigade attacks
Grant's grand assault, May 12
Grant's grand assault, May 12 (additional map)
"The Battle of Spottsylvania" by Kurz & Allison
The Bloody Angle site
<center>Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, Army of the Potomac</center>
<center>Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, II Corps</center>
<center>Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren, V Corps</center>
<center>Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, IX Corps</center>
<center>Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, Cavalry Corps</center>
<center>Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, First Corps</center>
<center>Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, Second Corps</center>
<center>Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill, Third Corps</center>
<center>Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, Cavalry Corps</center>
This unidentified, dead Confederate soldier of Ewell's Corps was killed during their attack at Alsop's farm. He was wounded in both the right knee and left shoulder, and probably died from loss of blood.
Confederate killed in Ewell's attack May 19, 1864, on the Alsop farm. This photograph was taken just to the right and in front of the preceding photograph.
Confederate dead of General Ewell's Corps who attacked the Union lines on May 19 lined up for burial at the Alsop Farm.

On May 21, Grant disengaged from the Confederate Army and started southeast on another maneuver to turn Lee's right flank, as the Overland Campaign continued and led to the Battle of North Anna.

Flooding of the North Anna River along U.S. Route 1 after Hurricane Camille, 1969

North Anna River

Principal tributary of the Pamunkey River, about 62 mi long, in central Virginia in the United States.

Principal tributary of the Pamunkey River, about 62 mi long, in central Virginia in the United States.

Flooding of the North Anna River along U.S. Route 1 after Hurricane Camille, 1969

The river was the site of the Battle of North Anna during the American Civil War.

Army of the Potomac II Corps badge (trefoil)

II Corps (Union Army)

There were five corps in the Union Army designated as II Corps (Second Army Corps) during the American Civil War.

There were five corps in the Union Army designated as II Corps (Second Army Corps) during the American Civil War.

Army of the Potomac II Corps badge (trefoil)
Maj. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner
Maj. Gen. Darius N. Couch
Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock
Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock and his II Corps division commanders during the Overland Campaign. Standing, from left to right, are Brig. Gen. Francis C. Barlow, Maj. Gen. David B. Birney, and Brig. Gen. John Gibbon.
Maj. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys

After more of hard and continuous fighting at the Battle of North Anna, and along the Totopotomoy, the corps reached the memorable field where the Battle of Cold Harbor was fought.

IX Corps badge

IX Corps (Union Army)

Corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War that distinguished itself in combat in multiple theaters: the Carolinas, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

Corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War that distinguished itself in combat in multiple theaters: the Carolinas, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

IX Corps badge
Union Army 1st Division Badge, IX Corps

By the time of the Battle of North Anna, however, Grant acknowledged that this arrangement was ineffective and he convinced Burnside, along with General Parke, his chief-of-staff, to waive the question of their superiority of rank over Meade.

A. P. Hill

Confederate general who was killed in the American Civil War.

Confederate general who was killed in the American Civil War.

General A.P. Hill
Appomattox, A. P. Hill's sword
Portrait of Hill by William Ludwell Sheppard, 1898

After recovering and regaining his corps, he was later rebuked by Lee for his piecemeal attacks at the Battle of North Anna.

Sheridan in uniform, 1888

Philip Sheridan

Career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War.

Career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War.

Sheridan in uniform, 1888
Brevet Second Lieutenant Philip Sheridan, engraving by H. B. Hall
Rienzi, stuffed and on display at the National Museum of American History
Union Cavalry General Philip Sheridan
Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan and his generals in front of Sheridan's tent, 1864. Left to right: Henry E. Davies, David McM. Gregg, Sheridan, Wesley Merritt, Alfred Torbert, and James H. Wilson.
Union Cavalry General Philip Sheridan
Sheridan's Ride, chromolithograph by Thure de Thulstrup
Lee's retreat in the Appomattox Campaign, April 3–9, 1865
Sheridan portrait by Mathew Brady or Levin C. Handy
General Sheridan stands by his dispatches by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly, v. 19, no. 944 (January 30, 1875), p. 89.
Union General Philip H. Sheridan
A cartoon from Harper's Weekly of December 21, 1878, features Philip Sheridan and Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz
Sheridan's headstone at Arlington National Cemetery. The inscription faces Washington, D.C.
Sheridan memorialized on the 1890 $10 Treasury note, and one of 53 people depicted on United States banknotes
Generals Sherman, Grant and Sheridan, Issue of 1937
Equestrian statue of Philip Sheridan in the center of Sheridan Circle in Washington, D.C.
Sheridan's Richmond Raid, including the Battles of Yellow Tavern and Meadow Bridge
Routes of Federal and Confederate cavalry to Trevilian Station, June 7–10, 1864
Sheridan's return to the Army of the Potomac from his Trevilian Station raid, including the Battle of Saint Mary's Church

The raid was less successful than hoped; although his raid managed to mortally wound Confederate cavalry commander Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart at Yellow Tavern on May 11 and beat Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee at Meadow Bridge on May 12, the raid never seriously threatened Richmond and it left Grant without cavalry intelligence for Spotsylvania and North Anna.

Ambrose Burnside, circa 1880

Ambrose Burnside

American army officer and politician who became a senior Union general in the Civil War and three times Governor of Rhode Island, as well as being a successful inventor and industrialist.

American army officer and politician who became a senior Union general in the Civil War and three times Governor of Rhode Island, as well as being a successful inventor and industrialist.

Ambrose Burnside, circa 1880
Mrs. Burnside, Mary Richmond Bishop
General Ambrose Burnside.
Burnside (seated, center) and officers of the 1st Rhode Island at Camp Sprague, Rhode Island, 1861
Burnside Bridge at Antietam in 2005
Union General Ambrose Burnside, 1862
Engraving of General Burnside in full dress uniform
Petersburg Crater, 1865
Burnside's grave in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island
Studio photograph of Gen. Ambrose Burnside taken sometime between 1860 and 1862. Photograph shows his unusual sideburns.
Equestrian monument in Burnside Park, Providence, Rhode Island.

This cumbersome arrangement was rectified on May 24 just before the Battle of North Anna, when Burnside agreed to waive his precedence of rank and was placed under Meade's direct command.

Gordon in uniform, c. 1862

John Brown Gordon

Attorney, a slaveholding plantation owner, general in the Confederate States Army, and politician in the postwar years.

Attorney, a slaveholding plantation owner, general in the Confederate States Army, and politician in the postwar years.

Gordon in uniform, c. 1862
Gordon portrait by Mathew Brady
John Brown Gordon statue by sculptor Solon Borglum, located on the northeastern part of the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol
Gordon's grave, Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

His division was held in reserve at the Battle of North Anna and was positioned in the Magnolia Swamp, north of where the major fighting occurred at the Battle of Cold Harbor.

Wade Hampton during the Civil War

Wade Hampton III

American military officer who served the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War and later a politician from South Carolina.

American military officer who served the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War and later a politician from South Carolina.

Wade Hampton during the Civil War
The Col. William Rhett House, 54 Hasell St., Charleston, South Carolina, the birthplace of Wade Hampton III
Wade Hampton and other leading South Carolinians inspecting the interiors of Fort Sumter, April 10, 1861
Senator Wade Hampton
Statue of Wade Hampton at South Carolina State House

Hampton escorted Lee's withdrawal to Richmond, fighting at North Anna and Haw's Shop before being detached from Lee's army to deal with Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's cavalry destroying railroad in central Virginia.