The Confederate Counterattack

The Confederate Counterattack (HM1ONT)

Location: Petersburg, VA 23803 Dinwiddie County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 11.067', W 77° 28.233'

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The Breakthrough Trail

Once the sixth Corps completed its Breakthrough, corps commander Horatio wright ordered seven of his eight brigades to pivot southwest and move against the remaining Confederate defenses north of Hatcher's Run. Wright assigned just one brigade, Colonel Joseph E. Hamblin's, to reamin in this area and secure the ground captured during the Breakthrough.

Confederate division commander Major General Cadmus M. Wilcox reacted to the Breakthrough by organizing about 600 troops from Brigadier General James H. Lane's North Carolina Brigade and Brigadier General Edward L. Thomas' Georgia Brigade to attempt to regain the lost lines. At the very least, Wilcox hoped to blunt any attempt to move against Petersburg until fresh Confederate troops could arrive from north of the Appomattox River.

Wilcox's counterattack drove elements of Hamblin's Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and Connecticut men back from their advanced positions to this vicinity. The Confederates established a thin line of defense along Church Road perpendicular to their old works, temporarily blocking any further Union advance. Later in the morning, however, the Sixth Corps, supported by other Union troops, returned to this area and compelled Wilcox's men to retreat again. The stage was now set for the dramatic afternoon battle at Fort Gregg.

(upper left) The Confederate counterattack on the morning of April 2, 1865:
1. The extent of the Sixth Corps breakthrough.
2. Wilcox's counterattack against Hamblin's Brigade.
3. The Sixth Corps advance to Hatcher's Run.
4. The Union advance toward Fort Gregg.
Check with any member of the park staff about how to visit Fort Gregg.

(upper right) Joseph Elbridge Hamblin, a 37-year-old native of Massachusetts, was popular with the men of his brigade. One admirer described him as "a brave officer of magnificent figure and bearing, and a gentleman by instinct."

(lower right) Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox was a 40-year-old native of North Carolina. He commanded most of the troops victimized by the Sixth Corps Breakthrough, although during the attack Wilcox was at his headquarters several miles to the north.
Year Placed2015
Placed ByPamplin Historical Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 19th, 2015 at 5:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280693 N 4118192
Decimal Degrees37.18445000, -77.47055000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 11.067', W 77° 28.233'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 11' 4.02" N, 77° 28' 13.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804, 434, 757
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6411 Duncan Rd, Petersburg VA 23803, US
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