previous next

[284] destroyed, Richmond would be completely cut off. On the morning of the 29th, as previously arranged, the movement began. Sheridan swept to the south with his cavalry, as if he were to fall upon the railroads. General Warren, with fifteen thousand men, was working his way through the tangled woods and low swamps in the direction of Lee's right. At the same time, Lee stripped his entrenchments at Petersburg as much as he dared and hurried General Anderson, with infantry, and Fitzhugh Lee, with cavalry, forward to hold the roads over which he hoped to escape. On Friday morning, March 31st, the opposing forces, the Confederates much reenforced, found themselves at Dinwiddie Court House. The woods and swamps prevented the formation of a regular line of battle. Lee made his accustomed flank movement, with heavy loss to the Federals as they tried to move in the swampy forests. The Northerners finally were ready to advance when it was found that Lee had fallen back. During the day and night, reenforcements were coming in from all sides. The Confederates had taken their position at Five Forks.

Early the next afternoon, the 1st of April, Sheridan, reenforced by Warren, was arranging his troops for battle. The day was nearly spent when all was in readiness. The sun was not more than two hours high when the Northern army moved toward that of the South, defended by a breastwork behind a dense undergrowth of pines. Through this mass of timber the Federals crept with bayonets fixed. They charged upon the Confederates, but, at the same time, a galling fire poured into them from the left, spreading dismay and destruction in their midst. The intrepid Sheridan urged his black battle-charger, the famous Rienzi, now known as Winchester, up and down the lines, cheering his men on in the fight. He seemed to be everywhere at once. The Confederate left was streaming down the White Oak Road. But General Crawford had reached a cross-road, by taking a circuitous route, and the Southern army was thus shut off from retreat. The Federal

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fitzhugh Lee (10)
G. K. Warren (4)
Phil Sheridan (4)
Crawford (2)
R. H. Anderson (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 1st (2)
March 31st (2)
29th (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: