Confederate Artillery Position

Confederate Artillery Position (HM1LCW)

Location: Appomattox, VA 24522 Appomattox County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 21.915', W 78° 49.592'

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Battle of Appomattox Station

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Norther Virginia began the retreat west from Richmond and Petersburg on April 3, 1865, with about 250 cannon. Two days later, at Amelia Court House, about a hundred of the least effective pieces were culled from the army and placed under Gen. Reuben L. Walker, who was directed to march north of the main army and west toward Lynchburg. Lee hoped to reach North Carolina to combine his army with that of Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston.

Both Walker's column and Lee's army were not far apart late on the afternoon of April 8. Walker's artillerymen had stopped along the road here to Appomattox Station for a respite and were cooking rations when Union Gen. George A. Custer's troopers attacked at about 4 P.M. One part of Walker's command escaped to Lynchburg with 21 cannon and another with 54 artillery pieces to Oakville (five miles north). Walker put up a stout defense with about 30 cannon before his position was overrun. At about 8 P.M., Custer launched a final assault with all of his brigades and captured the remaining cannon. The French Creole gunners of the Donaldsonville (Louisiana) Artillery muttered, "Tout perdu" ("All is lost"). Confederate artillery Capt. William G. McCabe wrote, "Enemy attacked us in park. ... Disgraceful panic. ... Saw a captain of art'y behind a stump on his knees." One hundred cannon were effectively eliminated from Lee's army.
"Our men stood off the enemy until dusk, repelling numerous attacks, until the greater part of the guns and wagons had moved off towards Lynchburg, when nearly the whole of Custer's division having arrived, they made a charge and swept over all that was left."—Capt. William W. Chamberlaine, of Walker's staff

(top left) Gen. Reuben L. Walker Courtesy Valentine Richmond History Center
(top center) Gen. George A. Custer Courtesy Library of Congress
(bottom right) William G. McCabe, from Armistead C. Gordon, Memories and Memorials of William Gordon McCabe (1925)
(top right) William W. Chaberlaine, from his Memoirs of the Civil War (12912)
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, June 27th, 2015 at 6:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 692469 N 4137608
Decimal Degrees37.36525000, -78.82653333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 21.915', W 78° 49.592'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 21' 54.9" N, 78° 49' 35.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)434
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 249 Jamerson Ln, Appomattox VA 24522, US
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