previous next
[377] which Gordon had charge. The corps moved forward before daylight with the division of Evans in front, captured a half mile of breastworks with Fort Stedman, and turned the guns upon the other Federal works. Several batteries to the right and left were also cleared of their defenders and occupied by the enthusiastic Georgians. It was intended that a supporting column of 20,000 men should follow up and secure the ground thus won, but they did not arrive in time to go promptly forward. So the Federals were able to concentrate against the Confederates in such force that they were compelled to fall back to their own lines with heavy loss.

Two days later, Sheridan with 10,000 cavalry reinforced Grant, who now rapidly concentrated the main body of his army to the south and west of Petersburg, with the purpose of assailing the Confederate right. Without waiting to be attacked, Lee fell upon the Federals with so heavy a blow that he forced his enemy back. On the same day, March 31st, Sheridan was repulsed near Dinwiddie Court House, but on the next day, reinforced by two corps of infantry, he overwhelmed Pickett's smaller force at Five Forks. On the following morning the Federals attacked all along the line, which was very thin, there being in many places only one man to every seven yards. The gallant defense of Forts Alexander and Gregg checked the Federals until Longstreet came up and interposed his corps. That night Lee withdrew from the lines of Petersburg and Richmond, which he had held so long and skillfully. Lee's retreat was conducted with his usual skill, but the failure to secure supplies at Amelia Court House caused a delay which was fatal to his plans. The men of the Seventh Georgia cavalry, with M. W. Gary's brigade, were among the last to leave the Confederate capital just before the last bridge was destroyed.

At Sailor's creek, where Ewell's corps was surrounded and forced to surrender, the brigades of Simms and DuBose, and Humphreys' Virginia brigade, fighting

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)
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.
March 31st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: