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High Bridge

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April 6-7, 1865

The Battle of High Bridge

High Bridge, a crossing of the Appomattox River near Farmville, Virginia, played a significant role in the final days of the Civil War in the east.  As Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia retreated westward after the fall of Petersburg, rear-guard detachments would try to damage or disrupt avenues of Union pursuit.  High Bridge was one such path.  On April 6, 1865, the bridge was captured by a small Union force, a move which threatened to divide the Confederate Army on either side of the Appomattox.  Fighting desperately, Confederate reinforcements managed to clear the bridge and capture nearly 800 Federal defenders.  However, on April 7, fresh Union troops attacked and drove the Confederates out of their positions before the bridge could be destroyed.  With the Union Army still hot on his tail, Robert E. Lee turned his men west towards Appomattox.