For our final week of our Symposium Spotlight series, we preview the Sunday morning tour for this year’s 2019 Emerging Civil War Symposium. Fitting in perfectly with our theme of “Forgotten Battles,” our own Bert Dunkerly
will be leading us on an in-depth tour of the Jericho’s Mill battlefield. Bert sent along the following highlights for what sounds like an incredible program.
North Anna, or Jericho’s Mill, is the overlooked battle of the Overland Campaign. The pristine property has been preserved by the American Battlefield Trust, and is now part of Richmond National Battlefield Park, though not yet open regularly to the public. Our tour will involve about 3 miles of walking, including a steep downhill section with an uphill return.
Lt. Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill
Arriving from Spotyslvania, Federal troops forded the North Anna River and brushed aside Confederate cavalry on May 23. The Union Fifth Corps spread out on the open ground south of the river, infantry out in front and artillery coming up behind them. General A.P. Hill got Wilcox’s Division moving to counter the threat, and Union troops could sense something building up in front of them. Colonel Tilton of the 22nd Massachusetts wrote, “I feared a turning moment all afternoon.”
That is exactly what happened. As the battle developed, the Confederates overlapped and overran the Union line. Federal troops were still moving into position and had to race to the front to rescue the situation. It was Union gunners who saved the day and stopped the Confederate attacks.
The artillery exchange was brisk on both sides, and one participant noted, “Soldiers who had been through all the battles of the Potomac army, affirmed that they never experienced such a noisy onset, except at Gettysburg.”
Our tour will explore this seldom-seen area and follow the action of both sides at key points. Prepare for a three mile walk over pastures, which may have a few cow “land mines” strewn about.
We will also visit the more famous part of the North Anna Battlefield, where General Ledlie led an-ill advised assault on the main Confederate line, now part of the County-owned park.
Have you purchased your 2019 Emerging Civil War Symposium tickets yet? You will not want to miss this tour! Find out more about this incredible weekend by clicking here