Petersburg in Dinwiddie County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Battle of White Oak Road
March 31, 1865
Lewellyn Shaver of the 60th Alabama was posted just west of here. There, “we were in line of battle in a piece of woods in front of which distant about 50 yards lay the road. Beyond … an extensive field – probably a mile and a half in length by a half mile in width. In this field, about a hundred and fifty yards from the road, was a line of picket holes, each fifty yards apart, occupied by Confederate riflemen.” Beyond, Shaver noted, “two heavy lines of battle of Federal infantry, distinctly visible on the further edge of the field.”
Four Confederate brigades formed in the woods on the north side of White Oak Road, then advanced and smashed into the Federal columns. Brigadier General Romeyn B. Ayres’ Federal division shattered under the onslaught and fled, along with Brigadier General Samuel Crawford’s division, back across Gravelly Run to the south. A member of the 6th Wisconsin, one of the regiments in Crawford’s division, recalled, “The formation of our lines was not completed before
Confederate General Robert E. Lee rode along these fortifications on the morning of March 31st inspecting the lines. He learned from Bushrod Johnson’s men that Union troops in front of the works had their “left flank in the air.” To take advantage of this careless disposition of Union troops, Lee was determined to attack and to roll up the exposed Union flank.
Erected by Civil War Preservation Trust.
Location. 37° 9.075′ N, 77° 32.766′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia, in Dinwiddie County. Marker can be reached from White Oak Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch 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 The Battle of White Oak Road (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); 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); 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Petersburg.
More about this marker. The lower left of the marker contains a photograph of Gen. Warren, with the caption “Union General Gouverneur K. Warren’s Fifth Corps maneuvered to interpose itself between Confederate General Anderson’s lines and General Pickett’s forces to the west.” The top of the marker features a picture of Gen. Johnson, with the caption “Confederate General Bushrod Johnson’s troops were tasked with flanking the Federals.” A map of the March 31, 1865 battle showing troop
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 Events • Notable Places • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,154 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on December 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 2. submitted on March 30, 2009. 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.