had crossed the Appomattox
from Bermuda Hundred
, and, passing in the rear of the army before Petersburg
, on the morning of March 29, 1865, had halted at Dinwiddie Court-house.
A forward movement of the National
army had just begun.
, with their corps, had moved at an early hour that morning against the flanks of the Confederates
, and they bivouacked in front of the works of their antagonists, only 6 miles from Dinwiddie Court-house.
had lost 300 men in a fight on the way. On the next day (March 30), Sheridan
sent a party of cavalry to the Five Forks
, but the Confederate
works there were too strongly armed and manned to be ridden over, and the Nationals were driven back to the Court-house
There was some severe fighting that day, without a decisive result.
was engaged in the struggle, but at midnight he was satisfied that Lee
was withdrawing his troops, and felt quite at ease.
It was known at headquarters that his troops had been driven back from Five Forks
, and that it was uncertain whether he could hold his position.
was sent to his aid with a portion of his corps.
became commander of the whole force.
half-way between Dinwiddie Court-house and Five Forks
pressed boldly on towards the latter place, with cavalry alone, and drove the Confederates
into their works and enveloped them with his overwhelming number of horsemen.
He then ordered Warren
forward to a position on his right, so as to be fully on the Confederate
He drove some Confederates towards Petersburg
, and returned before Warren
was prepared to charge upon the works.
At 4 P. M. War-
Movement towards five Forks.|
ren moved to the attack.
charged upon the Confederate
right, carried a portion of the line, and captured more than 1,000 men and several battle-flags.
charged the front, and Griffin
fell upon the left with such force that he carried the intrenchments and seized 1,500 men. Crawford
, meanwhile, had come forward, cut off their retreat in the direction of Lee
's lines, struck them in the rear, and captured four guns.
Hard pressed, the Confederates
fought gallantly and with great fortitude.
At length the cavalry charged over the works simultaneously with the turning of their flanks by Ayres
, and, bearing down upon the Confederates
with great fury, caused a large portion of them to throw
Battle of five Forks.|
down their arms, while the remainder made a disorderly flight westward, pursued many miles by Merritt
The Confederates lost a large number of men, killed and wounded, and over 5,000 were made prisoners.
lost about 1,000, of whom 634 were killed and wounded.