The Battle of White Oak Road

The Battle of White Oak Road (HM9M4)

Location: Sutherland, VA 23885 Dinwiddie County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 9.117', W 77° 32.926'

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The Battle of Lewis Farm

General Grant wanted to force his way around the Confederate right flank and cut the last remaining supply lines into Petersburg. The offensive began on March 29, 1865. Union Major General Philip H. Sheridan's cavalry moved towards Dinwiddie Court House, about five miles southwest of here, to lure the Confederates out of their defensive works and to cut one of the Confederate army's main supply lines: the South Side Railroad. At the same time an infantry corps under Major General Gouverneur K. Warren and Major General Andrew A. Humphreys was ordered to the Boydton Plank Road. From there the corps was to advance towards this point and prevent Confederate reinforcements from reaching Dinwiddie Court House by keeping them occupied here.

The weather was miserable. Through heavy rains, the Federal columns waded across rising streams and marched through thick vegetation. "We went slipping and plunging through the black slimy mud in which pointed rocks were bedded," one Union soldier complained, "now stumbling over the stiffening corpse of some poor comrade by whose side we might soon lie."

Brigadier General Joshua L. Chamberlain's brigade led the Federal advance. As Chamberlain's men approached Gravelly Run about 2½ miles southeast of here, they met with Confederate resistance. Just over one mile after the Federals forded the waist-high stream they reached the Lewis Farm. A member of the 198th Pennsylvania recalled, "General Chamberlain made his disposition for attack ? the brigade advanced at a double-quick and soon was enveloped in the terrible fire of the securely posted Confederates ? Our troops were not allowed to deliver fire until they came into close quarters, when the engagement became very severe, our troops being again and again checked, but renewing the assault with increased impetuosity."

Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Anderson deployed his troops to blunt Chamberlain's advance, but the Confederates could not hold against the superior Federal numbers. Anderson soon ordered his men to retire to the entrenchments along White Oak Road. The Federals had suffered 381 casualties, including Chamberlain, who was wounded; the Confederates lost 370 men.
HM NumberHM9M4
Placed ByCivil War Preservation Trust
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 6:20am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 273652 N 4114770
Decimal Degrees37.15195000, -77.54876667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 9.117', W 77° 32.926'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 9' 7.02" N, 77° 32' 55.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 20600-20734 State Rte 613, Sutherland VA 23885, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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