American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of North Anna on May 24, 1864
On May 24, 1864, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s forces continued to advance south of the North Anna River from ground gained the previous day. Union troops were brought up short by Gen. Robert E. Lee’s “hog snout line,” which forced Grant to divide his force into three parts to attack. Union General Gouverneur K. Warren’s V Corps remained on the Union right, Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s IX Corps in the center, and Gen. Winfield S. Hancock’s II Corps on the left. Each flank would have to cross the river twice to reinforce the other.
After crossing at Quarles’ Mill, an ill-advised Union attack by IX Corps infantry under Gen. James Ledlie was repulsed at Ox Ford (the snout). That same day, Hancock pushed his entire corps across the Chesterfield Bridge. In the afternoon, the Federals ran into Confederate skirmishers, sparking a furious firefight that devolved into a hand-to-hand struggle near the Major Thomas Doswell house at Hanover Junction. Darkness ended the fighting and Grant ordered his commanders to halt and dig in.
On May 26, Grant withdrew both wings of the army back across the North Anna River. Grant outflanked Lee’s position by moving downstream and continued his advance on Richmond.