North Anna Battle Hero
Library of Congress

North Anna

You are here

SHARE THIS

 

Following the stalemate at Spotsylvania Court House, Grant was determined to continue his offensive against Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. After a failed attempt to bait Lee out of his earthworks, he found the Confederates entrenched on the south side of the North Anna River, where Lee's "inverted V" defenses forced Grant to divide his army into three parts in order to attack. On May 23rd, one of Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill’s divisions assaulted the isolated Fifth Corps on the Union right which had crossed the river at Jericho Mill.  After a bloody see-saw fight, the Federal bridgehead remained intact.  On the Union left flank, Maj. Gen. Winfield Hancock's Second Corps seized the Chesterfield Bridge over the North Anna. On the 24th, an alcohol-fueled infantry attack by a brigade from the Ninth Corps was repulsed at Ox Ford, the apex of Lee's lines. Meanwhile, Hancock advanced on the Confederate right. Lee hoped to strike an offensive blow, but he was ill, and the opportunity for defeating an isolated part of the Federal army passed. Once the threat of Lee’s position was revealed, Grant withdrew both wings of the army back across the North Anna.  Grant outflanked the position by moving downstream to the east and continued his advance on Richmond.

Battle Facts

Result

Inconclusive
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
120,000

Union

67,000

Confederate

53,000
Total Estimated Casualties
4,200

Union

2,600

Confederate

1,600