“Why Didn't You Throw Them Back?”
On the afternoon of May 23, 1863, Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren's Fifth Corps crossed the North Anna River at Jericho Mill and marched onto the peaceful plains of the Fontaine Farm. Before long, they were set upon by the Confederates of Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill's corps, which was intent on throwing the Federals back across the river before they could establish a bridgehead. Despite their initial success, Hill's men were unable to drive Warren from the south bank of the river, leaving a disappointed Robert E. Lee to ask, "Why did you let those people cross here? Why didn't you throw your whole force on them and driven them back as Jackson would have done?" By sunset the fighting was over and the Yankees began entrenching at Jericho Mill. Lee's North Anna line had been breached.
If we act quickly, the Civil War Trust now has the opportunity to save 665 acres of the Fontaine Farm—the entire battlefield at Jericho Mill—in one fell swoop. In addition to the lush field of the Fontaine Farm, this pristine ground (which historian Douglas Southall Freeman called "one of the most picturesque spots on all the battlegrounds of Virginia") includes the ruins of the historic Jericho Mill, the site of Warren's pontoon bridges, the road dug by Federal engineers, and artillery pits dug by Yankee gunners, all of which can still be seen today. A remarkable $10-$1 match will allow us to save this crucial piece of the Overland Campaign and preserve it for generations to come.
P.S. Any gift of $31.40 or more will receive the special Overland Campaign Animated Map DVD produced by the Civil War Trust, so you can see firsthand how we are working to interest more people—especially younger generations—in battlefield preservation.