Hanover Junction

Hanover Junction (HM1WL)

Location: Doswell, VA 23047 Hanover County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 51.617', W 77° 27.68'

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Critical Intersection

— Lee vs. Grant — The 1864 Campaign —

This junction was one of the most pivotal sites for the well-being of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army. Known during the war as Hanover Junction, it was the intersection of two important railroads. The Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad (RF&P) ran north from Richmond, past Guinea Station where "Stonewall" Jackson died in 1863, through Fredericksburg and to the Potomac River. The Virginia Central Railroad also came north from the capital city but veered west here and ran through the fertile Piedmont country into the Shenandoah Valley. During all the famous campaigns of 1862-64, Lee's army relied on these railroads for supplies.

The first serious threat to the lines came in late May 1864, during the battle at the North Anna River. Most of the RF&P was in Federal hands by then, and Grant's army stood on the south bank of the river barely more than one mile from here. Lee's headquarters was in a tent in the southwest angle of the railroad intersection. Confederate soldiers from Gen. Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps defended the ground to your north. On May 24, while action raged to the west at Ox Ford (on the North Anna), Gen. John Gibbon's division of the Union Second Corps advanced toward the junction. In thick woods just north of here, Gibbon collided with Confederates from Gen. Robert E. Rodes' division in a violent but inconclusive fight known as the battle of Doswell House.

Grant would abandon the North Anna lines without reaching this vital railroad intersection.

(Sidebar): Hanover Junction was famous before the war as the site of Virginia's largest horse racing track, located on the Doswell farm just east of here. The proprietor, Major Thomas W. Doswell, had been a Confederate staff officer earlier in the war. Nearby was the DeJarnette farm, which also suffered from the proximity of 150,000 soldiers. It lost all its crops and livestock. Mrs. Margaret Wight boarded there. "What a time of anxiety and suspense," she wrote in her diary. "Nearly all the ladies in the neighborhood are fleeing from their homes."
HM NumberHM1WL
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at 5:28pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 283475 N 4193168
Decimal Degrees37.86028333, -77.46133333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 51.617', W 77° 27.68'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 51' 37.02" N, 77° 27' 40.80" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10623-10651 State Rte 688, Doswell VA 23047, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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