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Five Forks

Dinwiddie County, VA  |  Apr 1, 1865

The Union victory along the White Oak Road on March 31st threatened to destabilize the entire Confederate line west of Petersburg. General Robert E. Lee ordered Maj. Gen. George Pickett with his infantry division and the cavalry divisions of Col. Thomas Munford, Maj. Gen. W.H.F. Lee, and Maj. Gen Thomas Rosser to hold the vital crossroads of Five Forks, along the White Oak Road five miles west of the previous fighting there. Pickett's defensive line was not well constructed, and much of his cavalry force was posted in wooded areas where it was difficult to maneuver. On the afternoon of April 1st, while Maj. Gen. Phil Sheridan’s Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Wesley Merritt pinned the right flank of the Confederate force in position, the Fifth Corps under Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren attacked and overwhelmed the Confederate left flank, taking many prisoners. Sheridan personally directed portions of the Fifth Corps attack, while Pickett was absent from the front having a lunch when Warren's men struck. The last part of the Confederate line to collapse was the center at the road junction, held by artillery until overrun by Union cavalry. Young Colonel “Willie” Pegram, beloved Confederate artillery officer, was mortally wounded there. The loss of Five Forks threatened Lee’s last supply line, the South Side Railroad. The next morning, Lee informed President Jefferson Davis that Petersburg and Richmond must be evacuated.

All battles of the Appomattox Campaign

Civil War  |  Battle
White Oak Road
Dinwiddie County, VA  |  Mar 31, 1865
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 2,670
Union: 1,870
Confederate: 800
Civil War  |  Battle
Five Forks
Dinwiddie County, VA  |  Apr 1, 1865
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 3,780
Union: 830
Confederate: 2,950
Civil War  |  Battle
Petersburg Breakthrough
Petersburg, VA  |  Apr 2, 1865
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 7,750
Union: 3,500
Confederate: 4,250
Civil War  |  Battle
Sailor's Creek
Amelia County, Prince Edward County, and Nottoway County, VA  |  Apr 6, 1865
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 9,980
Union: 1,150
Confederate: 8,830
Civil War  |  Battle
High Bridge
Cumberland County, VA  |  Apr 6 - 7, 1865
Result: Inconclusive
Est. Casualties: 947
Union: 847
Confederate: 100
Civil War  |  Battle
Appomattox Station
Appomattox County, VA  |  Apr 8, 1865
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 1,121
Union: 121
Confederate: 1,000
Civil War  |  Battle
Appomattox Court House
Appomattox County, VA  |  Apr 9, 1865
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 652
Union: 152
Confederate: 500

Related Battles

Dinwiddie, VA | April 1, 1865
Result: Union Victory
Commanders
Estimated Casualties
3,780
Union
830
Confed.
2,950

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