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

Attack on the Angle

 
 
Attack on the Angle at Five Forks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
1. Attack on the Angle at Five Forks Marker
Inscription. “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, expected an attack. Neither did their commander, Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett, who had retired to the rear for a lunch of shad.

At 4:15 p.m., Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren’s Union Fifth Corps swarmed across what were open fields to your right. While two Federal divisions moved too far north and missed the Confederate line altogether, one division of 3,100 men struck the Confederates here. Brig. Gen. Matthew Ransom’s North Carolina brigade resisted fiercely. Both the Federals rolled forward and vaulted the works. The Confederate line collapsed.

The Union success at the Angle initiated the destruction of Pickett’s division – a disaster for Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.
 
Location. 37° 8.399′ N, 77° 36.663′ W. Marker is near Dinwiddie,
Attack on the Angle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
2. Attack on the Angle Marker
Marker is at the location of the eastern end of the Confederate fortifications guarding the Five Forks intersection.
Virginia, in Dinwiddie County. Marker is on White Oak Road (Virginia Route 613), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in the Five Forks Unit of Petersburg National Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Dinwiddie VA 23841, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Union Cavalry Attacks (approx. half a mile away); "Advanced...repulsed...charged again..." (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Battle of Five Forks (approx. 0.6 miles away); Five Forks Battlefield (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Five Forks (approx. 0.7 miles away); Death of Pegram (approx. 0.7 miles away); Digging In (approx. 0.7 miles away); Crawford’s Sweep (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dinwiddie.
 
More about this marker. The right portion of this marker features a painting of a mounted Gen. Sheridan leaping over the Confederate earthworks, with the caption General Philip Sheridan - his headquarters flag in hand - joined the Union charge on the Angle. Of him, one man wrote, "It would be a sorry soldier who could help following such a leader."

The bottom left of the marker contains a map showing the Confederate fortifications around Five Forks, and the Union lines of attack. The marker is at the right end of the fortifications,
Attack on the Angle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, June 20, 2010
3. Attack on the Angle Marker
Five Forks Battlefield Tour Stop #2
near Warren's main attack.
 
Also see . . .
1. Five Forks Unit. Petersburg National Battlefield (Submitted on March 15, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Five Forks. The Civil War Siege of Petersburg. (Submitted on December 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Map Detail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
4. Map Detail
This map shows the Confederate fortifications around Five Forks and the Union lines of attack. The marker is located at the Angle at Warren's main attack area, to the left of the map.
Five Forks Intersection image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
5. Five Forks Intersection
This strategic intersection was the target of Sheridan's attack. The view is down the White Oak Road, toward the Angle.
Remains of portion of Confederate earthworks at the Angle image. Click for full size.
By Harold Colson, March 20, 2008
6. Remains of portion of Confederate earthworks at the Angle
An informal path northward into the woods from the marker passes by the remaining low breastworks.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 15, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,281 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 15, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on August 8, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   4, 5. submitted on March 15, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6. submitted on March 28, 2008, by Harold Colson of San Diego, California. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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