Lee knew this, and surprised Grant with a fierce attack. He moved two of his corps on parallel roads to intercept the bogged down Union army. The battle began with the Union V Corps attacking General Ewell's Corps on the Orange Turnpike. A.P Hill also ran into the Union VI and II Corps along the Orange Plank Road, with fierce fighting that lasted until sunset. The fighting however, was inconclusive as both armies found it difficult to maneuver through the woods.
The next morning, the Union II Corps hit Hills Corps a second time, along the Plank Road. Hills men were driven back in confusion and panic, but the lines were stabilized by reinforcements from General Longstreet. This prevented a collapse of the Confederate right flank. Longstreet continued with a flanking counterattack that successfully pushed back the Union line, until Longstreet himself was shot by his own men by mistake. This essentially took all the momentum from the counterattack, and the Confederate advance stalled. Confederate General Gordon followed suit, and launched an attack on the Union right that was eventually repulsed, but it caused uneasiness at the Union headquarters.
The next morning, Grant disengaged his forces and successfully maneuvered himself between Lee and Richmond. Even though the fight had been inconclusive in nature, Grant had gained his goal, and pressed onward with his offensive. The battle had been very bloody, but Grant's army was in a better position to cope with such casualties. In proportion, the losses in Lee's army were disastrous, as there wasn't a large pool of men to replenish his ranks from. This signaled the beginning of a bloody war of attrition that would last until the surrender of the Confederacy.