The Battle of Five Forks

The Battle of Five Forks (HM1CW7)

Location: Sutherland, VA 23885 Dinwiddie County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 8.37', W 77° 37.362'

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Petersburg National Battlefield

For nine months, an ever-lengthening fortified line had protected Petersburg. On April 1, 1865, at this obscure county crossroads, that Confederate line finally stretched to its breaking point.

"In its Result, it was to our country as Waterloo to Europe." —General Thomas T. Munford, CSA

The siege left the Confederate lines around Petersburg thinly manned—barely able to protect the last remaining supply line into the city, the South Side Railroad. On April 1, 10,000 weary Confederates under Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett dug in here at Five Forks. Their objective; prevent Union General Philip Sheridan and 21,000 Union troops from moving up Fords Road to capture the South Side Railroad.

What happened next that afternoon would determine not just the future of Pickett's command, but also the fate of Lee's army, Petersburg and Richmond—and hence the Confederacy itself.

This wartime sketch shows General Sheridan, holding a swallowtail flag (circled), lending the decisive Union charge on the "Angle," about a mile to your left.

The Union plan: Sheridan's cavalry (9,000 men) would attack Pickett's lines frontally, while Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren's Fifth Corps infantry (12,000 men) would sweep down on the Confederates from the east. Though dug in, the Confederates here were isolated from the rest of Lee's army. Their nearest support was several miles away.
HM NumberHM1CW7
Placed ByNational Park Service-United States Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 2:15pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 267047 N 4113568
Decimal Degrees37.13950000, -77.62270000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 8.37', W 77° 37.362'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 8' 22.20" N, 77° 37' 21.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 18603 State Rte 613, Sutherland VA 23885, US
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