The fall of Petersburg immediately followed as the result of the victorious assaults of the Twenty-fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Corps, after which the Twenty-fourth joined in the pursuit of Lee's Army. During this pursuit it had a sharp fight, April 6th, at Rice's Station, or High Bridge. On April 9th, the day of Lee's surrender, the corps was sharply engaged in the forenoon, the Twenty-fourth Corps having the honor of making the last infantry fight of that campaign, and of the war. Gibbon arrived at Appomattox Court House about ten o'clock, and intercepted Lee's troops who were driving the cavalry back in their attempt to escape. General Ord, commanding at that time the Twenty-fourth, Fifth, and Twenty-fifth (colored) Corps, states that the arrival of his command was opportune; that “in spite of General Sheridan's attempts, the cavalry was falling back in confusion before Lee's infantry;” and that his troops “soon deployed and went in, Gibbon at double-quick, with Foster's and Turner's Divisions in beautiful style.” After a short, sharp action a white flag appeared at an adjoining part of Ord's line, whereupon the Twenty-fourth Corps was ordered to cease firing. The last infantry-volley of the war had been fired. This fight, on the day of Lee's surrender, was known by the troops as Clover Hill. During this campaign, March 29th to April 9th,--from Hatcher's Run to Appomattox — the Twenty-fourth Corps lost 149 killed, and 565 wounded; total, 714. When General Ord moved the Army of the James to Petersburg, March 27, 1865, he left Devens' (3d) Division of the Twenty-fourth, and one division of the Twenty-fifth, in front of Richmond, on the north bank of the James. Upon the fall of Petersburg these troops, under General Weitzel, the commander of the Twenty-fifth Corps, marched on Richmond, and encountering little or no opposition entered that city on the 3d of April. Foster's and Turner's Divisions returned to Richmond after the victory at Appomattox, and the corps remained in Virginia until August 1, 1860, when the existence of the organization ceased officially, many of the regiments having already returned to their homes. Although this corps does not display any long list of battles, it should be remembered that its regiments were veterans of many hard-fought fields before they were assigned to it. They had withstood the shock of many battles, and their banners were inscribed with the names of historic fields.
- Bermuda Hundred -- Fort Fisher -- Petersburg -- Hatcher's Run -- Fort Gregg -- Fall of Richmond -- Rice's Station -- Clover Hill -- Appomattox.
This organization was composed of the colored troops previously belonging to the Tenth and Eighteenth Corps, and which were consolidated for the purpose of forming an Army Corps composed entirely of black regiments. It was organized December 3, 1864, and Major-General Godfrey Weitzel was placed in command. It was composed of the divisions of Generals Kautz, Birney (Wm.), and Paine, containing in all 32 regiments of infantry and 1 of cavalry. Its returns for February, 1865, show a strength of 13,630--infantry, cavalry, and artillery, the latter carrying 56 guns. In January, 1865, Paine's Division sailed with Terry's Expedition to Fort Fisher, where it rendered effective service during that memorable action, although it did not form a part of the column of assault. Paine's Division did not rejoin the corps,. but remained in North Carolina, and when the Tenth Corps was reorganized became the Third Division of that corps. On the 27th of March, 1865, Birney's (2d) Division accompanied the Army of the James--General Ord's command — on its march from the James River to Hatcher's Run, Kautz‘ (1st) Division remaining in the defenses of Bermuda Hundred. Birney's Division was present in the fighting at the fall of Petersburg, after which it joined in the pursuit of Lee's Armny, and participated in the closing battle at Clover Hill, April 9th, the day of Lee's surrender.