In an event organized by the Hanover County Sesquicentennial Committee, the North Anna Battlefield Park was dedicated, and the Battle of North Anna commemorated, on Saturday, May 24, 2014. The park was originally opened in 1996, but this event marked the addition of several new miles of trails and historical markers.

Present were a representation of the 28th Massachusetts, which presented the Union Colors; the 2nd Corps, which presented the Confederate Colors; and the 47th Virginia Infantry, which served as Honor Guard.

Gordon C. Rhea addresses the crowd.

The symbolic unveiling of the new Civil War Trails sign, now located at the park entrance; cutting the ribbon and officially reopening the trail.

The Confederate 2nd Corps Color Guard during prayer, Commanded by Sgt. Joe Wright; the Union 28th Massachusetts Color Guard, Commanded by 1st Sgt. Dennis O'Connell.
The Dedication Ceremony, conducted by HCHS President Art Taylor, included the following guests:
  • Dave Ruth, Superintendent, Richmond National Battlefield Park
  • Len Reidell, Executive Director, Blue and Gray Education Society
  • Greg Sager, Director, Hanover County Parks and Recreation
  • David L. Deal, Executive Director, Hanover Tavern Foundation/Chair Hanover Sesquicentennial Committee
  • Roger Chandler, descendant of Lt. Col. Charles Lyon Chandler, 57th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers KIA
Also present was John Grant Griffiths, great, great grandson of General Ulysses S. Grant.

The speaker was Gordon C. Rhea, noted Civil War historian and author. Mr. Rhea said that the Battle of North Anna, which took place May 21-27, 1864, was one of the most important elements of Grant's Overland Campaign. It is often overlooked due to the relatively few casualties that resulted from the battle, compared with those at the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor.

Donna J. Neary, artist who painted Even to Hell Itself, the image of which graces the trail head into hiking trails, donated five signed, numbered prints to the Hanover County Sesquicentennial Committee. These were presented to: Gordon Rhea; Hanover County Parks and Recreation; the Hanover Tavern Foundation; Historic Polegreen Church Foundation and the Hanover County Historical Society.

The ceremony also saw the unveiling of the newly installed Civil War Trails Marker at the park entrance, along with a newly replaced Department of Historic Resources Historical marker. The thirteen interpretive markers on the new trail were sponsored by the Blue & Gray Education Society. The North Anna Battlefield Park contains some of the most pristine Confederate and Union earthworks in the country.

Gordon C. Rhea's book, To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13-23, 1864, is available at

Please click on any of the images above for a full-sized image.

Check out this video production of the rededication of North Anna Battlefield Park, created by John Patrick Jones.