Custer's Third Brigade

Custer's Third Brigade (HM1LCU)

Location: Appomattox, VA 24522 Appomattox County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 21.912', W 78° 49.629'

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Battle of Appomattox Station

Union Col. Henry Capehart commanded Gen. George A. Custer's Third Cavalry Brigade on Custer's left flank. On April 8, 1865, Capehart had only the 1st New York (Lincoln) an 1st and 2nd West Virginia regiments on hand, the 3rd West Virginia had been detached after the Battles of Sailor's Creek to guard Confederate prisoners. Capehart arrived at Appomattox Station at about 5 P.M., soon after the Confederate supply trains were captured there. At dusk, Custer led the men of the 1st New York on an advance into a thicket to locate the Confederate right flank. Lt. Joseph Walter was wounded in the action and died eleven days later. Finding the woods impassible, Custer shouted, "Boys, try to get back the best way you can. We cannot get through here." Sgt. Anthony Fiala captured four Confederates during the withdrawal.

Pvt. Joseph Sutton, 2nd West Virginia, wrote of Custer's subsequent moonlight charge on the Confederate artillery, "A battery ... hurled grape and canister down the road in such a manner that a little column of the regiment, ... was nearly half unhorsed. The flashes of the enemy's guns, as reflected against the sky, resembled a furious storm of lightning. But the battery was captured." Maj. Shesh Howe, commanding the 1st West Virginia, was wounded in the last charge. Transported to nearby Liberty Baptist Church, which was used as a field hospital, Howe soon died and was buried there. After the war, his body was reinterred at Poplar Grove Cemetery near Petersburg.

(bottom left) Wounding of Lt. Joseph Walter, from James H. Stevenson. Boats and Saddles (1879)
(top center) Sgt. Anthony Fiala, from William H. Beach,The First New York (Lincoln) Cavalry (1902)
(bottom right) Howe grave — (Courtesy Appomattox Court House National Hotorical Park<.i>
(top right) Maj. Shesh Howe Courtesy Richard A. Wolfe
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, June 27th, 2015 at 6:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 692415 N 4137601
Decimal Degrees37.36520000, -78.82715000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 21.912', W 78° 49.629'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 21' 54.72" N, 78° 49' 37.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)434
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 206-298 State Rte 1014, Appomattox VA 24522, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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