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High Bridge

Cumberland County, VA  |  Apr 6 - 7, 1865

Harried mercilessly by Federal troops and continually cut off from turning south to reach Gen. Joseph Johnston's army in North Carolina, General Robert E. Lee and his army headed west along the Appomattox River, eventually arriving in Cumberland County on April 6, 1865. Food and supplies that Lee's men desperately needed were waiting at Farmville, across the river. To get there, Lee needed to use the 2,500-foot long, 130-foot tall High Bridge, which carried the South Side Railroad over the Appomattox.  A smaller bridge for wagons was located at the same crossing. On April 6, Lieut. Gen James Longstreet dispatched 1,200 cavalrymen under Major General Thomas L. Rosser to hold the bridges. A 900-man Yankee force of infantry and cavalry arrived first, and set about destroying the bridge. Rosser's men engaged the Union troopers and infantry, nearly destroying or capturing the entire force.  Lee's retreating army used the crossing and made it to the awaiting rations at Farmville. The next day, elements of the Union Second  Corps overwhelmed Longstreet’s rear guard attempting to set fire to the bridge to prevent Federal pursuit. Union forces were able to save the railroad bridge from destruction and crossed over the wagon bridge in pursuit of Lee’s army. Failure to destroy the High Bridge crossings enabled Union forces to catch up with the Confederates at nearby Farmville.

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
High Bridge
Cumberland County, VA  |  Apr 6 - 7, 1865
Result: Inconclusive
Est. Casualties: 947
Union: 847
Confederate: 100
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
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

Farmville, VA | April 6, 1865
Result: Inconclusive
Commanders
Forces Engaged
2,080
Union
880
Confed.
1,200
Estimated Casualties
947
Union
847
Confed.
100