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Battle of Five Forks by Markers. Use the “First >>” button above to see these markers in sequence.
Virginia (Dinwiddie County), Church Road — K 307 — Battle of Five Forks
Four miles south is the battlefield of Five Forks. To that point Pickett retired from Dinwiddie Courthouse in the night of March 31, 1865. Sheridan, following, attacked him in the afternoon of April 1, 1865. The Confederates, outnumbered and surrounded, were overwhelmed. This defeat broke Lee's line of defense around Petersburg and forced him to retreat. — Map (db m18860) HM
Virginia (Dinwiddie County), Dinwiddie — Battle of Five Forks
Here at Five Forks on April 1, 1865 10,000 Confederates, commanded by General Pickett, were overwhelmed by about 50,000 Federal troops, led by General Sheridan, thereby opening the way to the Southside Railroad making further defense of Petersburg and Richmond impossible. Withdrawal to Appomattox followed. Dedicated to the memory of the valiant Dinwiddie soldiers, as well as to all soldiers of the South and North, taking part in this encounter. Presented by the Dinwiddie Confederate . . . — Map (db m6225) HM
Virginia (Dinwiddie County), Dinwiddie — Five Forks Battlefield
has been designated a Registered National Historic Landmark under the provisions of the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935. This site possesses exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of the United States. — Map (db m6220) HM
Virginia (Dinwiddie County), Dinwiddie — Digging In
“Hold Five Forks at all hazards…” Just before noon on April 1, 1865, 10,000 Confederates under Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett arrived here at Five Forks. They immediately started digging and by mid-afternoon had constructed a rough earthwork that extended along the White Oak Road for nearly two miles. You are standing at the center of that Confederate line. Weary, wet, and hungry, the Confederates waited – aware that if they yielded, nothing would stand between the . . . — Map (db m6226) HM
Virginia (Dinwiddie County), Dinwiddie — The Union Cavalry Attacks
“I was exceedingly anxious to attack at once, for the sun was getting low, and we had to fight or go back.” - Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan On March 31, 1865, Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan retreated down this road to Dinwiddie Court House, driven by Pickett’s Confederates. On April 1, the Federal cavalrymen returned – with a vengeance. Late that afternoon Sheridan deployed his two divisions in a two-mile line on both sides of this road. A half mile in . . . — Map (db m6214) HM
Virginia (Dinwiddie County), Dinwiddie — Attack on the Angle
“When we moved toward Five Forks…we were not expecting any attack that afternoon, so far as I know. Our throwing up works and taking position were simply general matters of military precaution.” - Major General Fitzhugh Lee, CSA You are standing on the left (east) flank of the Confederate line at Five Forks. Here the earthworks turned abruptly northward, forming an angle. Few of the 1,000 North Carolinians gathered behind these trenches on the afternoon of April 1, 1865, . . . — Map (db m6213) HM
Virginia (Dinwiddie County), Dinwiddie — Crawford’s Sweep
The decisive Union movement at the Battle of Five Forks was, for the Federals, a fortunate mistake. While one Union division struck the Confederate left at the Angle, Brig. Gen. Samuel W Crawford’s division passed too far north and missed the Confederate line altogether. Instead, Crawford’s lines swept westward to the Confederate rear, cutting the main Confederate escape route here along Fords Road. Crawford then pushed across the fields in front of you, toward the rear of the Confederate . . . — Map (db m6217) HM
Virginia (Dinwiddie County), Dinwiddie — A Final Stand
With their left at the Angle crashed and their center near the Five Forks intersection overrun, the Confederates made a final stand here, in and around Gilliam’s field. Across the open ground to your right, Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer led two Union cavalry brigades in a wild charge against the Confederate right flank. Southern horsemen under Maj. Gen. W.H.F. Lee held off the Federals. Across the road to your left, infantrymen of Brig. Gen. Montgomery Corse’s Virginia brigade struggled . . . — Map (db m6215) HM
Virginia (Dinwiddie County), Dinwiddie — S 56 — Chamberlain's Bed
That stream flows into Stony Creek a mile west. On March 31, 1865, Pickett and W.H.F. Lee, coming from Five Forks, forced a passage of Chamberlain's Bed in the face of Sheridan's troops, who were driven back to Dinwiddie Courthouse. — Map (db m17701) HM
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