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

The Union Cavalry Attacks

 
 
The Union Cavalry Attacks Marker at Five Forks image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
1. The Union Cavalry Attacks Marker at Five Forks
Inscription. “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 front stood Pickett’s men, entrenched around Five Forks. As Warren’s Union infantry swept down on Pickett’s lines from the east and, eventually, the north, Sheridan’s dismounted troopers charged the Confederate works from the south. Outmaneuvered and outnumbered, the Confederates gave way.
 
Location. 37° 8.078′ N, 77° 36.979′ W. Marker is near Dinwiddie, Virginia, in Dinwiddie County. Marker is on Courthouse Road (Virginia Route 627), on the left when traveling south. 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. "Advanced...repulsed...charged again..." (approx. ¼ mile away); Attack on the Angle
The Union Cavalry Attacks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
2. The Union Cavalry Attacks Marker
The marker is on the road that Sheridan's cavalry used to approach Five Forks from Dinwiddie Court House on April 1, 1865.
(approx. half a mile away); Five Forks Battlefield (approx. half a mile away); The Battle of Five Forks (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Five Forks (approx. half a mile away); Death of Pegram (approx. half a mile away); Digging In (approx. half a mile away); Crawford’s Sweep (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dinwiddie.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker shows Gen. Sheridan and a group of mounted cavalrymen getting directions from a local man. The caption reads Major General Philip Sheridan and his commanders at Dinwiddie Court House, prior to the Battle of Five Forks.

The bottom left of the marker contains a map showing the Confederate fortifications around Five Forks, and the Union line of 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.)
The Union Cavalry Attacks Marker on Courthouse Road image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
3. The Union Cavalry Attacks Marker on Courthouse Road
This road leads to the vital Five Forks intersection. Sheridan's cavalrymen retreated to Dinwiddie Court House on this road on March 31, 1965, and used it the next day to attack Five Forks.
 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The Union Cavalry Attacks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, June 20, 2010
4. The Union Cavalry Attacks Marker
Five Forks Battlefield Tour Stop #1
Five Forks Battle Map image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
5. Five Forks Battle Map
The map shows the Confederate fortifications around Five Forks. Sheridan brought more than 6,000 dismounted cavalrymen to the frontal attack against Pickett (3,000 more remained at Dinwiddie CH). Warren had 12,000 infantrymen for his flank attack.
Five Forks Intersection image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
6. Five Forks Intersection
The cannon placed here at Five Forks points down Courthouse Road, the direction from which Sheridan's men were attacking. It fell in the fighting of April 1, 1865.
 
 
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 1,346 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 15, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on August 8, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   5, 6. submitted on March 15, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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