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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Petersburg in Dinwiddie County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Battle of White Oak Road

Breaking the Line

 
 
Breaking the Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 22, 2006
1. Breaking the Line Marker
Inscription. The Battle of White Oak Road left the Federals in position to block Confederate reinforcements from reaching their comrades further west. Both the Battle of White Oak Road and the Battle of Dinwiddie Court House were preludes to the climactic April 1st Battle of Five Forks; the “Waterloo of the Confederacy.” A late-afternoon attack at Five Forks, coupled with poor communication among the Southern command, allowed the Union an easy victory. Upon hearing this news, General Grant ordered an all-out assault at various points along the weakened Confederate line for the following morning. On April 2, 1865, after almost ten months of siege, Federal forces finally broke the Confederate line around Petersburg and cut all supply lines to the city. The Army of Northern Virginia abandoned Petersburg and the Confederate government fled the capital in Richmond. Seven days later Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, eighty miles to the west.
 
Erected by Civil War Preservation Trust.
 
Location. 37° 9.064′ N, 77° 32.817′ 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
Civil War Preservation Trust image. Click for more information.
2. Civil War Preservation Trust
is located on a walking trail that starts from the parking lot of the White Oak Road Battlefield. 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 (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 600 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of White Oak Road (about 700 feet 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. 1.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Petersburg.
 
More about this marker. The bottom of the marker contains a picture with the caption, “The Federals blocking White Oak Road would seriously affect the outcome of the fighting at Five Forks, just four miles west of here. On April 1, 1865, Union Major General Philip Sheridan attacked Confederate Major
Marker on the Battle of White Oak Road Walking Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 22, 2006
3. Marker on the Battle of White Oak Road Walking Trail
General George Pickett’s division at Five Forks. With his troops cut off from the rest of the Confederate army and no hope for reinforcements, Pickett’s division was routed. Over 5,000 Confederate prisoners were captured at Five Forks (shown here) along with 13 flags and six guns. In a few short days the Confederates would surrender at Appomattox Court House (above right). The upper right of the marker features a copy of the announcement of Lee’s surrender to Grant.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Virtual Tour by Markers of the White Oak 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
 
Walking Trail on the White Oak Road Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 22, 2006
4. Walking Trail on the White Oak Road Battlefield
The marker is the final one on the Battle of White Oak Road walking trail.
The Battle of White Oak Road Walking Trail Map image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 22, 2006
5. The Battle of White Oak Road Walking Trail Map
The location of "Breaking the Line" 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 1,178 times since then and 128 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   2. submitted on .   3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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