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Petersburg in Dinwiddie County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Battle of White Oak Road

The Union Counterattack

 
 
The Union Counterattack Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 22, 2006
1. The Union Counterattack Marker
Inscription. As the fight progressed, the Confederates met stiffening resistance. Lee and his subordinates realized they had too few troops to hold their advanced position. They determined to withdraw to the slight earthworks constructed by the Federal soldiers just south of this point. In the meantime, Union forces regrouped and were bolstered by reinforcements. At about 2:30 p.m., with everything in place, Union General Warren ordered a counterattack. General Robert E. Lee stood near this gun emplacement with General Bushrod R. Johnson and watched the advance of the Union columns.

When the final attack started, Federal General Joshua L. Chamberlain wrote, “we went with a rush, not minding ranks or alignments, but with open front to lessen loss from the long-range rifles…” Chamberlain’s men struck “Hunton’s brigade in front and for a few minutes there is a seething wave of counter currents, then rolling back, leaving a fringe of wrecks, - and all is over. We pour over the works, swing to the right and drive the enemy into their entrenchments along the Claiborne Road, and then establish ourselves across the White Oak Road facing northeast, and take breath.”

Union forces had secured a lodgment along the road, and were now in between the Confederates here and their compatriots a few miles to the west
Civil War Preservation Trust image, Click for more information
2. Civil War Preservation Trust
at Five Forks, preventing either group of Southerners from reinforcing the other. However, Union General Warren deemed that the Confederate defenses on the Claiborne Road were too strong to assault, and he ended the fighting for the day. Casualties had been heavy: 1,865 Federals and an estimated 800 Confederates had fallen, but Federal troops now held the White Oak Road. The end was near.
 
Erected by Civil War Preservation Trust.
 
Location. 37° 9.052′ N, 77° 32.755′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia, in Dinwiddie County. Marker can be reached from White Oak Road, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is on the Battle of White Oak Road walking trail. The trail starts from the parking lot at the corner of White Oak Road and Clairborne Road. Marker is in this post office area: Petersburg VA 23803, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named The Battle of White Oak Road (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Battle of White Oak Road (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Battle of White Oak Road (about 500 feet away); a different
Marker on the Battle of White Oak Road Walking Trail Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 22, 2006
3. Marker on the Battle of White Oak Road Walking Trail
The gun emplacement from which Generals Robert E. Lee and Bushrod R. Johnson watched the advance of the Union columns can be seen in the photo behind the marker.
marker also named The Battle of White Oak Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of White Oak Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of White Oak Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); White Oak Road Engagement (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gravelly Run Quaker Meeting House (approx. 1.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Petersburg.
 
More about this marker. The lower left of the marker contains a picture of attacking Federals with the caption, “This R. F. Zogbaum drawing entitled “From Five Forks to Appomattox” does not specifically depict the fighting along the White Oak Road, but illustrates how the final Federal attack may have appeared that late afternoon of March 31, 1865. Shown are men of Humphreys’ Second Corps which supported Chamberlain’s assault as they do battle with Confederates just east of this point.” Above this is a battle map showing the Union counterattack.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Virtual Tour by Markers of the White Oak
White Oak Road Earthworks Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 22, 2006
4. White Oak Road Earthworks
These fortifications were occupied by Confederate troops during the March 31, 1865 Battle of White Oak Road. They are located near the marker.
Road Battlefield. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. White Oak Road. The Civil War Siege of Petersburg. (Submitted on December 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Saving America’s Threatened Civil War Battlefields. Civil War Preservation Trust. (Submitted on December 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Civil
 
The Battle of White Oak Battle Map from Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 22, 2006
5. The Battle of White Oak Battle Map from Marker
The Battle of White Oak Road Walking Trail Map Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 22, 2006
6. The Battle of White Oak Road Walking Trail Map
The location of "The Union Counterattack" marker is indicated on this map of the walking trail.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,153 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   2. submitted on .   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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