The Appomattox Campaign was a series of American Civil War battles fought March 29 – April 9, 1865 in Virginia that concluded with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to the Union Army (Army of the Potomac, Army of the James and Army of the Shenandoah) under the overall command of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant. In the following eleven weeks after Lee's surrender, the American Civil War ended as other Confederate armies surrendered and Confederate government leaders were captured or fled the country.
As the Richmond–Petersburg Campaign (also known as the Siege of Petersburg) ended, Lee's army was outnumbered and exhausted from a winter of trench warfare over an approximately 40 mi (64 km) front, numerous battles, disease, hunger and desertion. Grant's well-equipped and well-fed army was growing in strength. On March 29, 1865, the Union Army began an offensive that stretched and broke the Confederate defenses southwest of Petersburg and cut their supply lines to Petersburg and the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Union victories at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865 and the Third Battle of Petersburg, often called the Breakthrough at Petersburg, on April 2, 1865, opened Petersburg and Richmond to imminent capture. Lee ordered the evacuation of Confederate forces from both Petersburg and Richmond on the night of April 2–3 before Grant's army could cut off any escape. Confederate government leaders also fled west from Richmond that night.
The Confederates marched west, heading toward Danville, Virginia or Lynchburg, Virginia as an alternative. Lee planned to resupply his army at one of those cities and march southwest into North Carolina where he could unite his army with the Confederate army commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston. Grant's Union Army pursued Lee's fleeing Confederates relentlessly. During the next week, the Union troops fought a series of battles with Confederate units, cut off or destroyed Confederate supplies and blocked their paths to the south and ultimately to the west. On April 6, 1865, the Confederate Army suffered a significant defeat at the Battle of Sailor's Creek, Virginia, where they lost about 7,700 men killed and captured and an unknown number wounded. Nonetheless, Lee continued to move the remainder of his battered army to the west. Soon cornered, short of food and supplies and outnumbered, Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
- 1 Background: Richmond–Petersburg Campaign
- 2 Campaign prelude
- 3 Opposing forces
- 4 Union offensive
- 5 Confederate retreat
- 6 Aftermath
- 7 Classifying the campaigns
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Background: Richmond–Petersburg Campaign
After the Overland Campaign, on June 15–18, 1864, two Union Army corps failed to seize Petersburg from a small force of Confederate defenders at the Second Battle of Petersburg, also known as Grant's first offensive at Petersburg. By June 18, the Army of Northern Virginia reinforced the Confederate defenders, ending the possibility of a quick Union victory. At the start of the campaign, the Union forces could pin down most of the Army of Northern Virginia to their trenches and fortifications running from northeast of Richmond to southwest of Petersburg but was not strong or large enough to surround the Confederate Army or to cut all supply routes to Petersburg and Richmond or to turn the Confederate Army out of its defenses. The smaller Confederate Army was strong enough to maintain their defenses and to detach some units for independent operations but not large enough to send a field army out to fight a major battle with the Union force that might compel a retreat.
Grant's strategy was to destroy or cut off sources of supply and sever supply lines to Petersburg and Richmond, which also would result in extending to the breaking point the defensive lines of the outnumbered and declining Confederate force. In pursuit of these objectives, Grant launched five more offensives at Petersburg during the remaining months of 1864, another in February 1865, and two more at the end of March and beginning of April 1865. During the fall of 1864 and the winter of 1864–1865, Grant slowly extended the Union Army line south of Petersburg westward. Lee extended the Confederate line to match the Union moves, but the defenders were stretched increasingly thin.
Battle of Hatcher's Run
On February 5, 1865, Grant sent a large force of cavalry and the V Corps (Fifth Corps) of infantry toward Dinwiddie Court House and Stony Creek Station to interrupt the Confederate's Boydton Plank Road supply route and capture large numbers of wagons with supplies reported to be en route. The raid on the supply route and supplies accomplished little as only 18 wagons were found on the road A significant result of the offensive was the extension of the Union line 4 miles (6.4 km) to the west from Fort Sampson to the Vaughan Road crossing of Hatcher's Run and captured two key road crossings of Hatcher's Run near Armstrong's Mill. The action of the II Corps (Second Corps), which was promptly joined by the V Corps, in moving to protect the attacking force and to defend their advanced positions, resulted in the extension of the lines. Fighting continued in bad weather on February 6 and 7 after which the Union force built trenches and fortifications to hold the extended line. The Confederates matched the Union works by extending their Boydton Plank Road Line to the south and their White Oak Road line to the west. With the additions, the lines of the armies south of Petersburg extended 15 miles (24 km) from the Appomattox River to Hatcher's Run.
Lee plans to withdraw from Petersburg
After the Battle of Hatcher's Run, Lee knew his army lacked the number of men needed to continue extension of his line and he realized Grant would continue to press them to do just that. On February 22, 1865, Lee advised Confederate States Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge that he expected Grant to "draw out his left, with the intent of enveloping me." He told Breckinridge and Lieutenant General James Longstreet that supplies should be collected at Burkeville, Virginia in preparation for the army to move west. Lee wanted to move when local roads became passable as spring rains decreased and before Union reinforcements from Sheridan's cavalry from the Shenandoah Valley, recent new recruits for Grant's force, and possibly even men from Major General William T. Sherman's armies already operating in North Carolina, could arrive at Petersburg.
In early March, 1865, Lee decided that his army must break out of the Richmond and Petersburg lines, obtain food and supplies at Danville, Virginia or Lynchburg, Virginia and join General Joseph E. Johnston's force opposing Major General Sherman's Union army.
After discussing the situation with Major John B. Gordon on March 4, 1865, Lee approved Gordon's proposal to attempt to capture or break a portion of the Union lines. The expected result of a successful attack would be to threaten or damage Grant's base and supply lines, compel Grant to shorten his line from the western end and to delay his pursuit of any Confederate force's withdrawal. Then, Lee could shorten his line and send part of his army to help Johnston in North Carolina. In the alternative, Lee could move his entire army to help take on Sherman first and, if successful, turn the combined Confederate force back against Grant. On March 22, 1865, Gordon told Lee he had determined that the best place to attack would be at Fort Stedman, east of Petersburg and south of the Appomattox River where the armies' lines were only about 200 yards apart. Lee approved the planned attack.
March 24, 1865: Grant's orders
On March 24, 1865, Grant issued orders for an offensive to begin on March 29, 1865. Grant planned for Major General Philip H. Sheridan's cavalry to cut the remaining open Confederate railroads, the Southside Railroad to Petersburg and the Richmond and Danville Railroad to Richmond, and for two infantry corps, to protect Sheridan's move and to turn the Confederates out of the western end of their line. Grant's top priority was to force an engagement in order to defeat the Confederate army with the railroad raid as a secondary objective. Grant also intended that his forces block a Confederate retreat to the west. Grant ordered the Army of the Potomac's V Corps under Major General Gouverneur K. Warren and II Corps under Major General Andrew A. Humphreys to support Sheridan, mainly by outflanking the Confederates to prevent them from interfering with Sheridan's mission. Grant also initially ordered Warren's corps to seize Dinwiddie Court House, where they also could capture a segment of the Boydton Plank Road, a task later given to Sheridan. Grant ordered Major General Edward Ord, to quietly move units from the Army of the James to fill in the portion of the Petersburg line that the II Corps then occupied.
Battle of Fort Stedman
After Gordon's surprise attack on Fort Stedman in the pre-dawn hours of March 25, 1865 captured the fort, three adjacent batteries and over 500 men while killing and wounding about 500 more, Union forces of the IX Corps (Ninth Corps) under Major General John G. Parke promptly counterattacked. They recaptured the fort and batteries, forced the Confederates to return to their lines and to give up their advance picket line and inflicted about 4,000 casualties, including about 1,000 captured, which the Confederates could ill afford. The United States National Park Service and some historians consider the Battle of Fort Stedman to have been the concluding battle of the Siege of Petersburg.
In response to the Confederate attack on Fort Stedman, on the afternoon of March 25, at the Battle of Jones's Farm, Union forces of II Corps and VI Corps (Sixth Corps) captured Confederate picket lines near Armstrong's Mill and extended the left end of the Union line about 0.25 miles (0.40 km) closer to the Confederate fortifications. This put the VI Corps which was holding this section of the line within easy striking distance, about 0.5 miles (0.80 km), of the Confederate line. After the Confederate defeats at Fort Stedman and Jones's Farm, Lee knew that Grant would soon move against the only remaining Confederate supply lines to Petersburg, the Southside Railroad and the Boydton Plank Road.
Meanwhile, on the night of March 25, Major General Philip Sheridan's cavalry arrived at Harrison's Landing on the north bank of the James River. Sheridan's force of about 10,000 troopers was minus a brigade detached to guard prisoners and nearly 3,000 men who were detached because of a lack of replacement horses for those which died or became disabled or unserviceable in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 and the return to Richmond.
The Confederate attack on Fort Stedman did not deter Grant from continuing with his plan of March 24 for an offensive to begin March 29.
March 26, 1865
On March 26, 1865, Lee held a council of war at which Lee decided that Major General Cadmus M. Wilcox's division must recapture a crucial elevated portion of their old picket line called McIlwaine's Hill. Also on that date, Lee wrote to Davis that he feared it would be impossible to prevent Sherman joining forces with Grant and that he did not think it prudent to maintain the Confederate army's current positions as Sherman came near to them. After the Fort Stedman defeat, Lee realized that he could not detach only a portion of his army to send to Johnston in North Carolina and still maintain the Richmond and Petersburg defenses.
On the same date, Sheridan's cavalry crossed the James River on a pontoon bridge at Deep Bottom in Henrico County, Virginia, 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Richmond. Sheridan went ahead of his men to meet Grant at his headquarters at Appomattox Manor, the Richard Eppes plantation at City Point, Virginia. Grant told Sheridan that Sheridan would continue to report directly to him, not to Major General George G. Meade as part of the Army of the Potomac. He also assured Sheridan that his force would participate in closing the war in the movements at Petersburg and that Grant gave him discretionary authority to go to North Carolina in his March 24 orders only in the event he needed it. In the afternoon, Grant and Sheridan accompanied President Lincoln on a cruise up the James River.
March 27, 1865: Action at McIlwaine's Hill
Before dawn on March 27, 1865, about 400 sharpshooters from four of Wilcox's brigades prepared to attack the new Union picket line on McIlwaine's Hill to recapture the line and prevent artillery from threatening important sections of the Confederate defenses. The Confederates approached within 40 yards (37 meters) of the Union line when rifle firing started and the surprised Union pickets were scattered. Then, three Union regiments arrived to reinforce their new picket line but also were driven back by artillery fire from the Confederate line. In the brief but spirited skirmish, the Confederates retook McIlwaine's Hill with few casualties, but this was of minor consequence since Grant's plans for the March 29 offensive did not include an attack along the VI Corps picket line.
March 27, 1865
Grant and Sherman began a two-day meeting with President Lincoln aboard the River Queen at City Point, Virginia. The meeting was mainly social with Lincoln also asking Sherman to tell him about his march through the Carolinas.
Sheridan went to Hancock Station on the morning of March 27, 1865 to organize his forces for the planned operation. Although delayed by a train derailment, Sheridan met with Grant and Sherman at City Point late on March 27 and on the morning of March 28 when he again opposed joining Sherman's forces in North Carolina despite some effort by Sherman to persuade him to take that course of action.
Meade issued orders to the Army of the Potomac in line with Grant's communication to him which would keep all but the mobile II corps and V corps in their lines despite Grant's assurance to Sheridan that he would support Sheridan with the whole army if a battle resulted from his movements. Meade also noted that the mobile infantry was to push the Confederates into their lines and prevent them from opposing Sheridan, which was at odds with Grant's priority to defeat the enemy in battle.
Lee learned that Sheridan's cavalry had moved south of the James River and suspected that Sheridan would attack the South Side Railroad beyond his right (western) flank. He knew he would have to strengthen that end of the line while maintaining the rest of his lines and preparing to leave the Richmond-Petersburg defenses. Lee only had about 6,000 cavalrymen about 18 miles (29 km) south of Petersburg at Stony Creek Station and Major General George E. Pickett's division of about 5,000 effective infantrymen available to extend his lines.
March 28, 1865
Grant, Sherman, and Lincoln, joined by and Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter, met again on the River Queen. The generals outlined their strategies and told Lincoln they anticipated the need for one more campaign, although Lincoln expressed his hope that much further bloodshed could be avoided. This was the only conference at which Lincoln conferred with his top military officers about post-war policies. Admiral Porter made notes that night in which he recorded that Lincoln wanted the Confederates to be let go and treated liberally. Porter quoted Lincoln as saying that his only desire was for "those people to return to their allegiance to the Union and submit to the laws." Lincoln also indicated that he did not want the generals making political settlements with the Confederates.
On the night of March 25, Major General Edward Ord, quietly moved units from the Union Army of the James, including two divisions of Major General John Gibbon's XXIV Corps (Twenty-Fourth Corps), a division of Major General Godfrey Weitzel's XXV Corps (Twenty-Fifth Corps) and Brigadier General Ranald S. Mackenzie's cavalry division from the Richmond lines to fill in the Petersburg lines when the II Corps moved out of them to support Sheridan. Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet's corps defending the Richmond lines failed to detect the movement of Ord's men, which held Lee back from moving some of Longstreet's forces to defend against the movement of Grant's forces. Ord's men began their march on March 27–28 and arrived near Hatcher's Run to take the positions occupied by the II Corps on the morning of March 29. Brigadier General Ranald Mackenzie's cavalry division from the Army of the James joined Sheridan on March 28.
On the night of March 28, 1865, Grant modified his order, telling Sheridan to lead his troopers around the Confederate right flank and to fight the Confederates, with infantry support, if the Confederates came out of their trenches. Otherwise, Sheridan was to wreck the railroads as much as possible and again was told, at his discretion, that he could return to the Petersburg lines or join Sherman in North Carolina. He was told to move first to the rear of the V Corps and around their left flank to Dinwiddie Court House in an effort to outflank the Confederates and cut the Boydton Plank Road.
Grant ordered Warren's V Corps to outflank Lee's line and to support Sheridan's cavalry. Warren's corps moved out at 3:00 a.m. over the Vaughan Road toward Dinwiddie Court House. Warren's orders were subsequently modified to make a movement over the Quaker Road toward the Confederate defenses. Grant ordered Humphrey's II Corps to march at 9:00 a.m. to positions from the Quaker Road-Vaughan Road intersection to Hatcher's Run. Warren was to move along the Boydton Plank Road to cut that key Confederate communication line. Both corps were ordered to keep the Confederates in their trenches while the Union advance proceeded.
Anticipating the Union moves, Lee ordered Major Generals Fitzhugh Lee's, W.H.F. "Rooney" Lee's and Thomas L. Rosser's cavalry divisions to defend the western end of the line, including the important road junction of Five Forks in Dinwiddie County. Fitzhugh Lee started that day, leaving Longstreet with only Brigadier General Martin Gary's cavalry brigade for scouting duties. Lee also prepared for Major General George Pickett to move his men to join the cavalry and take command. Five Forks was along the shortest route to the South Side Railroad. Lee ordered the movement of the infantry the next morning when he learned that Union forces were headed toward Dinwiddie Court House. With his trenches ending at the Claiborne Road-White Oak intersection, Lee had to send Pickett 4 miles (6.4 km) past the end of the Confederate line of defenses in order to defend Five Forks.
Lewis's Farm (March 29, 1865)
Warren's V Corps, followed by Humphrey's II Corps, and further to the south, Sheridan's cavalry corps, moved south and west early on March 29, 1865. Their mission was to occupy Dinwiddie Court House, cut the Boydton Plank Road, Southside Railroad and Richmond and Danville Railroad and to outflank the Confederates on their western (right) flank at the end of their White Oak Road line southwest of Petersburg. Under revised orders, Warren sent Brigadier General and Brevet Major General Charles Griffin's First Division north on the Quaker Road toward the intersection with the Boydton Plank Road and the end of the White Oak Road Line. Brigadier General Joshua Chamberlain's First Brigade led the advance.
North on Quaker Road, across Rowanty Creek at the Lewis Farm, Chamberlain's men encountered the brigades of Brigadier Generals Henry A. Wise, William Henry Wallace and Young Marshall Moody which had been sent by Lieutenant General Richard H. Anderson and Major General Bushrod Johnson to turn back the Union advance. Chamberlain was wounded and almost captured during the ensuing back-and-forth battle. Chamberlain's brigade, reinforced by a four-gun artillery battery and regiments from the brigades of Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General Edgar M. Gregory and Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General Alfred L. Pearson, who was later awarded the Medal of Honor, drove the Confederates back to the White Oak Road Line. The Union force suffered 381 casualties; the Confederates suffered 371.
After the battle, Griffin's division moved up to occupy the junction of the Quaker Road and Boydton Plank Road near the end of the White Oak Road Line. Late in the afternoon, Sheridan's cavalry occupied Dinwiddie Court House on the Boydton Plank Road without opposition. Union forces had cut the Boydton Plank Road in two places, were close to the end of the Confederate line and had a large force in a strong position to attack the crucial road junction at Five Forks in Dinwiddie County to which Lee was just sending defenders. The two remaining Confederate railroad connections with Petersburg and Richmond would be within the Union Army's grasp if they took Five Forks.
Encouraged by the Confederate failure to press their attack at Lewis's Farm and their withdrawal to the White Oak Road Line, Grant expanded Sheridan's mission to a major offensive rather than just a railroad raid and a forced extension of the Confederate line. He wrote in his letter to Sheridan: "I now feel like ending the matter...."
March 30, 1865
Dinwiddie Court House and Five Forks
From the late afternoon on March 29 through March 30, 1865, the Union's mobile strike force continued to move into positions to turn the Confederate right flank and block the Confederates' open supply, and retreat, routes. Lee perceived the threat from the Union moves and thinned his lines to strengthen the defenses on his far right. He also organized a Confederate mobile force to protect the key junction of Five Forks in order to keep open the Southside Railroad and important roads and to drive the Union force back from its advanced position. A steady, heavy rain started on the afternoon of March 29 and continued through March 30, slowing movements and limiting actions on March 30.
At about 5 p.m., on March 29, two of Sheridan's divisions, the First commanded Brigadier General Thomas Devin and, the Second, detached from the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General George Crook entered Dinwiddie Court House. Sheridan posted guards at the roads entering the town for protection from Confederate patrols. Sheridan's Third Division commanded by Brigadier General and Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer was seven miles behind Sheridan's main force protecting the bogged down wagon trains. The First and Third Divisions were still under the direct command of Brigadier General and Brevet Major General Wesley Merritt as an unofficial cavalry corps commander of the still existing Army of the Shenandoah.
Although Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry division passed through Petersburg and reached Sutherland Station about the time Sheridan reached Dinwiddie Court House, Thomas Rosser's and "Rooney" Lee's divisions had to detour around Sheridan's force in their moves from positions at Spencer's Mill on the Nottoway River and Stony Creek Station and did not arrive at Sutherland Station until March 30. At Sutherland Station earlier that day, General Lee verbally told Major General Fitzhugh Lee to take command of the cavalry and to attack Sheridan at Dinwiddie Court House. When Rosser and Rooney Lee's divisions arrived at Five Forks on the night of March 30, Fitzhugh Lee took overall command of the cavalry and put Colonel Thomas T. Munford in command of his own division.
Early in the day on March 29, Lee sent Major General George E. Pickett with three of his brigades commanded by Brigadier Generals William R. Terry, Montgomery Corse and George H. Steuart on the deteriorated Southside Railroad to Sutherland Station. The trains shuttling the troops to Sutherland Station were so slow that it was late night before the last of Pickett's men reached Sutherland Station, 10 miles (16 km) west of Petersburg. From Sutherland Station, Pickett moved south on the Claiborne Road to White Oak Road and Burgess Mill near the end of the Confederate line where he picked up the two brigades of Brigadier Generals Matt Ransom and William Henry Wallace from Major General Bushrod Johnson's division, along with a six-gun battery under Colonel William Pegram to deploy to Five Forks.
On March 30, General Lee met with several officers including Anderson, Pickett and Heth at Sutherland Station. From there, Lee ordered Pickett to move 4 miles (6.4 km) west along White Oak Road to Five Forks. Lee instructed Pickett to join with Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry and attack Sheridan at Dinwiddie Court House with the objective of driving Sheridan's force further away from the Confederate supply lines.
Skirmishing with and reacting to feints from Union patrols from the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry under Colonel Charles L. Leiper delayed Pickett's force from reaching Five Forks until 4:30 p.m. When Pickett reached Five Forks where Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry were waiting, he conferred with Lee about whether to proceed toward Dinwiddie Court House then. Pickett decided because of the late hour and the absence of the other cavalry divisions to wait until morning to move his tired men against Sheridan at Five Forks. Pickett did send William R. Terry's and Montgomery Corse's brigades to an advanced position south of Five Forks to guard against surprise attack. Some of Devin's men skirmished with the advanced infantry brigades before the Confederates were able to settle into their positions. By 9:45 p.m., Pickett's force was deployed along the White Oak Road.
On March 30, Union cavalry patrols from Brigadier General Thomas Devin's division approached the Confederate line along White Oak Road at Five Forks and skirmished with Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry division. As they approached Five Forks, a patrol of the 6th United States Cavalry Regiment under Major Robert M. Morris encountered Fitzhugh Lee's troopers and lost 3 officers and 20 men in the encounter. The Confederates also suffered some casualties, including Brigadier General William H. F. Payne who was wounded.
As the rain continued on March 30, Grant sent a note to Sheridan in which he said that cavalry operations seemed to be impossible and perhaps he should leave enough men to hold his position and return to Humphreys' Station for forage. He even suggested going by way of Stony Creek Station to destroy or capture Confederate supplies there. Sheridan responded by going to Grant's headquarters which had been moved forward to near the Vaughan Road crossing of Gravelly Run on the night of March 30 to urge him to press ahead regardless of the weather and road conditions. In fact, when Devin's men had been driven back from Five Forks, they had encamped about a mile away at the John Boisseau house. During their discussions, Grant told Sheridan he would send him the V Corps for infantry support and that his new orders were not to extend the line further but to turn the Confederate flank and to break Lee's army. Sheridan wanted the VI Corps which had fought with him in the Shenandoah Valley. Grant told him that the VI Corps was too far from his position to make the move.
White Oak Road Line
Following the Battle of Lewis's Farm, in the heavy rain on the night of March 29, Lee sent McGowan's brigade to bolster Anderson's defense of the end of the Confederate line. MacRae's brigade also was moved to the west of Burgess Mill. Wilcox's three other brigades had to spread out to cover the vacated defenses. McGowan's and MacRae's brigades did not give Johnson enough men to extend his line to Five Forks.
With the gap between the end of the Confederate defensive line southwest of Petersburg and Pickett's force at Five Forks in mind, on March 30, Lee made additional deployments to strengthen the Confederate right flank. Lee would have moved men from Longstreet's force north of the James River but largely due to demonstrations and deceptions by the remaining divisions of Major General Godfrey Weitzel's XXV Corps (Twenty-Fifth Corps), Longstreet thought that he still confronted Ord's entire Army of the James almost three days after Ord had gone with the XXIV Corps, a division of the XXV Corps and Mackenzie's cavalry to the Union lines south of Petersburg.
Lee moved Brigadier General Alfred M. Scales's brigade from Major General Cadmus M. Wilcox's division's left to trenches near the junction of the White Oak Road and the Boydton Plank Road. Another of Wilcox's brigades temporarily commanded by Colonel Joseph H. Hyman was moved to the rifle pits south of Burgess Mill. MacRae's brigade moved to the southwest side of Hatcher's Run, having already just moved to Burgess Mill. Brigadier General Eppa Hunton's brigade of Pickett's division joined Anderson and Bushrod Johnson along the White Oak Road Line near the junction with the Claiborne Road. Major General Bryan Grimes's division reinforced Brigadier General Edward L. Thomas's brigade which had to fill in part of the line formerly occupied by Scales's Brigade.
The rain was severely hampered the Union Army's mobile force's operations and ability to keep supplies moving. A large number of Warren's V Corps soldiers had to help the teamsters move horses and wagons and even to corduroy roads. Gravelly Run was swollen to three times its usual size and bridges and pontoons on Hatcher's Run were swept away.
Skirmishers from the Union V Corps kept the Confederates in their White Oak Road Line between the Boydton Plank Road and Claiborne Road on March 30. Despite incomplete information and somewhat vague and conflicting orders from Meade and Grant, on Grant's order, Warren pushed the Union V Corps forward to strengthen his hold on a part of the Boydton Plank Road and the V Corps entrenched a line to cover that road from its intersection with Dabney Mill Road south to Gravelly Run. In the afternoon, Warren saw Griffin's men take over Confederate outposts but he also saw that any movement further up the Boydton Plank Road by his men would be covered by Confederate artillery and fortifications.
Brigadier General Romeyn B. Ayres's division of the V Corps made a reconnaissance toward the White Oak Road a short distance west of Claiborne Road. The lead brigade under Colonel Frederick Winthrop crossed a swollen branch of Gravelly Run which was to feature in the following day's battle. Two other brigades did not cross but began to entrench. Winthrop's men saw the movement west of Pickett's brigades and captured a Confederate officer who provided information that was sent to Meade. Ayres saw only empty space to the northeast and failed to see heavy fortifications near the intersection of White Oak Road and Claiborne Road which angled sharply back to Hatcher's Run directly to his north. As dark approached, Ayres had a number of outposts prepared to cover his position, which was along and not beyond the Confederate line.
Meanwhile, Humphrey's II Corps closed the gap between the V Corps and the XXIV Corps. The latter corps captured a large part of the Confederate picket line in their front. Humphrey's II Corp also moved as close to the Confederate line as possible without starting a general engagement and entrenched at the forward positions. Union casualties for the March 30 actions at the White Oak Road Line were 1 killed, 7 wounded and 15 missing; the number of Confederate casualties is unknown.
During the night of March 30, Grant advised Meade not to have the VI Corps and IX Corps make a general attack along the line on March 31 as earlier planned, but to stand ready to take advantage of any sign that the Confederates had weakened their line. Grant also noted that he wanted to shift forces to the west so that Warren would have his whole force available to reinforce Ayres.
White Oak Road (March 31)
On the morning of March 31, General Lee inspected his White Oak Road Line and learned that the Union left flank held by Brigadier General Romeyn B. Ayres's division was "in the air" and that there was a wide gap between the Union infantry and Sheridan's nearest cavalry units near Dinwiddie Court House. Lee ordered Major General Bushrod Johnson to have his remaining brigades under Brigadier General Henry A. Wise and Colonel Martin L. Stansel in lieu of ill Brigadier General Young Marshall Moody, reinforced by the brigades of Brigadier Generals Samuel McGowan and Eppa Hunton, attack the exposed Union line.
Soon after 10:00 a.m., having seen Ayres's division and a brigade from Brigadier General and Brevet Major General Samuel W. Crawford's division moving toward the Confederate line in an effort to close the lines as much as possible, Johnson allowed Hunton's and Stansel's brigades to advance to meet the Union formations. The Confederates were able to approach the Union force while screened by woods north of White Oak Road and while out sight, open fire at close range.
All three Confederate brigades, including McGowan's, attacked both Ayres's division and all of Crawford's division which quickly joined the fight as it erupted. Warren himself had come forward, grabbed a regimental flag and tried unsuccessfully to rally the retreating Union men but had to withdraw under fire. Four Confederate brigades, only three of which saw any real action against V Corps divisions, had thrown back two Union divisions of over 5,000 men.
Brevet Major General Charles Griffin's division and the V Corps artillery under Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General Charles S. Wainwright, which had to carry their four guns forward through the mud, finally stopped the Confederate advance short of crossing Gravelly Run. Adjacent to the V Corps in the line, the II Corps under Major General Andrew A. Humphreys sent two of Brigadier General Nelson Miles's brigades forward and they initially surprised and after a sharp fight drove back Wise's brigade on the left of the Confederate line, taking about 100 prisoners. Humphrey's also ordered three diversionary demonstrations along the adjacent line to prevent the Confederates from reinforcing Johnson. Because no reinforcements were available, Johnson pulled his tired men back to the line of fortifications south of White Oak Road that Ayres's men had set up the night before. Miles saw through his field glasses that the Confederate rifle pits west of Boydton Plank Road were unoccupied but because the 5th New Hampshire Regiment's attack was in the wrong place on the line, the Confederates were able to reoccupy the empty trenches.
Griffin's V Corps brigades and Wainwright's artillery stabilized the Union line by 1:00 p.m. Warren and Griffin then approached Brigadier General Joshua Chamberlain, wounded only two days earlier at the Battle of Lewis's Farm, with the question: "General Chamberlain, will you save the honor of the Fifth Corps?" Despite the pain from his wounds suffered at Lewis's Farm, Chamberlain agreed to the assignment. At 2:30 p.m., Chamberlain's men forded the cold, swollen Gravelly Run, followed by the rest of Griffin's division and then the rest of Warren's reorganized units.
From Johnson's new position in rifle pits south of White Oak Road, which had been constructed by Ayres's men, the Confederates hit Chamberlain's men with a heavy fire as they emerged from the nearby woods. Warren ordered Chamberlain to hold his position but Chamberlain suggested to Griffin that they would be better off attacking the Confederates than remaining under fire and being picked off. Griffin approved the proposal and Chamberlain's brigade, along with the brigade commanded by Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General Edgar M. Gregory, charged Hunton's brigade and drove them back to the White Oak Road Line. Then Chamberlain's and Gregory's men crossed White Oak Road. The remainder of the Confederate force then had to withdraw to prevent being outflanked and overwhelmed.
Warren's men pursued across White Oak Road west of Claiborne Road but after a personal reconnaissance where Warren and a large party of scouts came under fire, Warren concluded that an immediate attack on the Confederate fortifications would gain nothing. Warren's corps ended the battle having gained possession of a part of White Oak Road to the west of the Confederate right flank, which was between the end of the Confederate line and Pickett's force at Five Forks. Ayres's division stopped just short of White Oak Road, facing west toward Five Forks. This cut the direct communication route between Anderson's (Johnson's) and Pickett's forces.
Union casualties (killed, wounded, missing – presumably mostly captured) were 1,407 from the Fifth Corps and 461 from the Second Corps and Confederate casualties have been estimated at about 800.
Dinwiddie Court House (March 31)
On March 31, Rooney Lee's cavalry and Pickett's infantry division met the Union vanguard north and northwest of Dinwiddie Court House and drove it back, temporarily stalling Sheridan's movement. With Union infantry approaching from the east, Pickett withdrew before daybreak to entrench at the vital road junction at Five Forks. Lee ordered Pickett to hold this intersection at all hazards.
Five Forks (April 1)
In the decisive battle of the campaign, Warren and Sheridan dislodged Pickett and Rooney Lee from a critical crossroads that protected their supply lines. Over 4,500 Confederate soldiers surrendered. Lee advised the Confederate government the next morning to abandon the cities of Petersburg and Richmond. His plan at this point was to move his forces from the two cities to cross the Appomattox River and meet up at Amelia Court House, where they could be resupplied at the Richmond and Danville Railroad from stocks evacuated from Richmond. They would then proceed to Danville, the destination of the fleeing Confederate government, and then south to meet Johnston.
Breakthrough at Petersburg (April 2)
Back at the entrenchments around Petersburg, Grant ordered a general assault against the Petersburg lines by the II Corps, VI Corps, IX Corps, and XXIV Corps on April 2. A heroic defense of Fort Gregg by a handful of Confederates prevented the Federals from entering the city that night. Confederate Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill was killed trying to reach his troops in the confusion. After dark, Lee ordered the evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond.
Sutherland's Station (April 2)
The Union finally seized the Southside Railroad, cutting off Lee's supplies. Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's corps crossed the James River to reinforce Petersburg. The city of Richmond was evacuated that night, and the Confederate government fled. Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, in charge of the city's defenses, was ordered to destroy anything of military value. Civilians rioted and great conflagrations engulfed the city.
Namozine Church (April 3)
A minor cavalry skirmish occurred. Lee reached Amelia Court House on April 4 and found that the expected rations had not arrived; they had not been placed on the trains escaping Richmond, and those in supply wagon trains had been captured by Union cavalry. With 30,000 hungry men to feed, Lee chose to remain in the area for the rest of the day, sending out foraging parties, most of which came up with few provisions. This tactical error on Lee's part allowed Union cavalry time to erase Lee's head start in his retreat.
Amelia Springs (April 5)
Confederate cavalry under Maj. Gens. Fitzhugh Lee and Thomas L. Rosser assaulted Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. George Crook as they returned from burning Confederate wagons at Painesville. This running fight started north of Amelia Springs and pushed through and beyond Jetersville. Lee discovered that his route to Danville was blocked by fast-moving Union cavalry. His only remaining option was to move west on a long march, without food, to Lynchburg. But the Confederate Commissary General promised Lee that he would send 80,000 rations to Farmville, 25 mi (40 km) to the west.
Sailor's Creek (April 6)
Nearly a quarter of the Confederate army (about 8,000 men, the heart of two corps) was cut off and forced to surrender by Sheridan, Maj. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys (II Corps), and Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright (VI Corps). Many of the Confederate supply trains were also captured. Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, who surrendered, was among eight Confederate general officer casualties. This action was considered the death knell of the Confederate army. Upon seeing the survivors streaming along the road, Lee exclaimed "My God, has the army dissolved?"
Rice's Station (April 6)
Longstreet's command reached Rice's Station, its farthest point south, where it was blocked by the Union XXIV Corps. After some skirmishing, Longstreet withdrew over the High Bridge during the night toward Farmville.
Cumberland Church (April 7)
At about 2 p.m. on April 7, the advance of the Union II Corps encountered Confederate forces entrenched on high ground near Cumberland Church. The Union forces attacked twice but were repulsed, and darkness halted the conflict. Union Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Smythe was mortally wounded nearby (the last Union general killed in the war), and Brig. Gen. John Irvin Gregg was captured north of Farmville.
High Bridge (April 6–7)
After the bulk of Lee's remaining army crossed the Appomattox River, Longstreet's rear guard burned the bridges behind them. The Union II Corps managed to extinguish the blazes on two of the bridges, and they crossed the river and caught up with the Confederates at Farmville. Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry was able to hold off the Union infantry until nightfall, but Lee was forced to continue his march to the west under this pressure, depriving his men the opportunity to eat the Farmville rations they had waited so long to receive. Their next stop would be Appomattox Station, 25 mi (40 km) west, where a ration train was waiting. On the night of April 7, Lee received from Grant a letter proposing that the Army of Northern Virginia should surrender. Lee demurred, retaining one last hope that his army could get to Appomattox Station before he was trapped. He returned a noncommittal letter asking about the surrender terms Grant might propose.
Appomattox Station (April 8)
The cavalry division of Maj. Gen. George Armstrong Custer seized a supply train and 25 guns, effectively blocking Lee's path. This unique action pitted artillery without infantry support against cavalry. Custer captured and burned three trains loaded with provisions for Lee's army. Grant sent a letter to Lee offering generous surrender terms, as urged by President Abraham Lincoln, and proposing a meeting to discuss them.
Appomattox Court House (April 9)
In Lee's final stand, Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon's depleted corps and Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry formed line of battle at Appomattox Court House. Robert E. Lee determined to make one last attempt to escape the closing Union pincers and reach his supplies at Lynchburg. At dawn the Confederates advanced, initially driving back Sheridan's cavalry. However, the arrival of Grant's infantry—the Union V Corps—stopped the advance in its tracks. Lee's outnumbered army was now surrounded on three sides. Lee surrendered his army at 3 p.m., accepting the terms Grant had proposed by letter the previous day.
The Appomattox Campaign was an example of masterful, relentless pursuit and maneuver by Grant and Sheridan, skills that had been in short supply by previous generals, such as Meade after Gettysburg and McClellan after Antietam. Lee did the best he could under the circumstances, but his supplies, soldiers, and luck finally ran out. The surrender of Lee represented the loss of only one of the Confederate field armies, but it was a psychological blow from which the South did not recover. With no chance remaining for eventual victory, all of the remaining armies capitulated by June 1865.
Confederate casualties in the campaign are difficult to estimate because many of their records are lost and reports were not always submitted. National Park Service historian Chris M. Calkins estimates 6,266 killed and wounded, 19,132 captured; surrendering at Appomattox Court House were 22,349 infantry, 1,559 cavalry, and 2,576 artillery troops. William Marvel has written that many of the Confederate veterans bemoaned that there were only "8,000 muskets" available at the end against the enormous Union Army, but this figure deliberately ignores cavalry and artillery strength and is much lower than the total number of men who received certificates of parole. Many men who had slipped away from the army during the retreat later returned to receive the official Federal paperwork allowing them to return to their homes unmolested. Union casualties for the campaign were about 9,700 killed, wounded, and missing or captured.
Classifying the campaigns
Military historians do not agree on precise boundaries between the campaigns of this era. This article uses the classification maintained by the U.S. National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program.
An alternative classification is maintained by West Point; in their Atlas of American Wars (Esposito, 1959), the Siege of Petersburg ends with the Union assault and breakthrough of April 2. The remainder of the war in Virginia is classified as "Grant's Pursuit of Lee to Appomattox Court House (3–9 April 1865)".
Bryce A. Suderow, in his introduction to Chapter 5 of Ed Bearss's 2014 edition of Volume II of The Petersburg Campaign: The Western Front Battles, September 1864–April 1865, says the Battle of Lewis's Farm should be considered "the first battle of what should be viewed as the Five Forks Campaign."
- Conclusion of the American Civil War
- Commemoration of the American Civil War
- Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps
- Horn, John. The Petersburg Campaign: June 1864-April 1865. Conshohocken, PA: Combined Publishing, 1999. ISBN 978-0-938289-28-9. p. 247. Retrieved February 11, 2015. – via Questia (subscription required).
- Historian Russell Weigley states that Lee was defending over 37 mi (60 km) of line after the Battle of Hatcher's Run. Lee had the interior line. Weigley, Russell F. A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861–1865. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-253-33738-0. p. 432.
- Wyrick, William. The Confederate Attack and Union Defense of Fort Stedman: March 25, 1865. Chapter 4 in Bearss, Edward C. with Bruce Suderow. The Petersburg Campaign: The Western Front Battles. Savas Beattie: El Dorado Hills, CA, 2014. ISBN 978-1-61121-104-7. pp. 241, 245.
- Some historians suggest that the First Battle of Petersburg should be considered the first offensive.
- Hess, Earl J. In the Trenches at Petersburg: Field Fortifications & Confederate Defeat. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-8078-3282-0. pp. 18–37.
- Hattaway, Herman, and Archer Jones. How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983. ISBN 978-0-252-00918-1. p. 593.
- The Richmond-Petersburg campaign was not a "siege" as usually defined because the Confederate Army was never surrounded.
- Weigley, 2000, p. 336.
- Stoker, Donald. The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-19-537-305-9. pp. 367, 372–373, 384.
- Beringer, Richard E., Herman Hattaway, Archer Jones, and William N. Still, Jr. Why the South Lost the Civil War. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986. ISBN 0-8203-0815-3. pp. 331–332.
- Trudeau, Noah Andre. The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864 – April 1865. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8071-1861-3. p. 18.
- Hess, 2009, pp. 18–37.
- Sommers, Richard J. Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981. ISBN 978-0-385-15626-4. p. 2.
- Historian Earl J. Hess considers the Union Army offensive at the end of March and beginning of April 1865, which brought success with the crushing of the extended Confederate right flank at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865 as the eighth offensive. Hess, 2009, pp. 260–263. Hess characterizes the Third Battle of Petersburg or Breakthrough at Petersburg on April 2, 1865 as Grant's ninth offensive. Hess, 2009, p. 264.
- Weigley, 2000, p. 432.
- Bearss, Edward C. with Bruce Suderow. The Petersburg Campaign: The Western Front Battles. Savas Beattie: El Dorado Hills, CA, 2014. ISBN 978-1-61121-104-7. pp. 166-167.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 174.
- Hess, 2009, pp. 231–232.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 232.
- Hess, 2009, p. 234.
- Hess, 2009, p. 233.
- Weigley, 2000, p. 433.
- Lee had to use two of his three reserve units to hold the extended line. Bearss, 2014, p. 239.
- Calkins, Chris. The Appomattox Campaign, March 29 – April 9, 1865. Conshohocken, PA: Combined Books, 1997. ISBN 978-0-938-28954-8. p. 10
- Foote, Shelby. The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol. 3, Red River to Appomattox. New York: Random House, 1974. ISBN 978-0-394-74622-7. p. 785.
- Shelby Foote stated that the Confederate line was extended 3 miles (4.8 km) to 37 miles (60 km), "exclusive of recurrent jogs and doublings", and that his strength was reduced to 46,398 men "present for duty." Foote, 1974, p. 785.
- Calkins,1997, pp. 11–12.
- Trudeau, 1991, pp. 324–325.
- Greene, A. Wilson. The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign: Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-57233-610-0. p. 111
- Hattaway, 1983, pp. 669–671.
- Greene, 2008, p. 154.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 14, 16.
- Hess, 2009, p. 253.
- Longacre, Edward G. The Cavalry at Appomattox: A Tactical Study of Mounted Operations During the Civil War's Climactic Campaign, March 27 – April 9, 1865. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 978-0-8117-0051-1. p. 39.
- Wyrick, 2014, p. 244.
- Calkins,1997, p. 11.
- Trudeau, 1991, pp. 337–352.
- Greene, 2008, p. 108.
- Davis, William C. An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2001. ISBN 978-0-15-100564-2. p. 49.
- Lee met with Confederate President Jefferson Davis on March 4, 1865 to urge him to negotiate peace with the Union government. Davis declined, noting the failure of a recent peace effort at the Hampton Roads Conference. He also did not want to abandon Richmond. This meeting confirmed to Lee that the Confederate Army must fight. Wyrick, 2014, p. 245.
- Wyrick, 2014, p. 247.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 312.
- Weigley, 2000, p. 435.
- Greene, 2008, p. 152.
- Greene, 2008, pp. 114–115.
- National Park Service Civil War Battle Summaries by Campaign (Eastern Theater).
- Calkins, 1997, p. 12.
- Marvel, William. Lee's Last Retreat: The Flight to Appomattox. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-8078-5703-8. p. 11.
- Trudeau, 1991, p. 366.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 16.
- Greene, 2008, p. 149.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 12–13
- Greene, 2008, p. 144.
- Wyrick, 2014, p. 308.
- Greene, 2008, p. 150.
- Greene, 2008, p. 151.
- Greene, 2008, p. 145.
- Greene, 2008, p. 146.
- Greene, 2008, pp. 146–148.
- Greene, 2008, pp. 148–149.
- The Vermont brigade of Brigadier General Lewis A. Grant reported 33 wounded and 26 captured at McIlwaine's Hill while the brigade of Colonel Thomas W. Hyde made no report but historian A. Wilson Greene says they must have suffered as many casualties as Lewis Grant's brigade. Greene, 2008, pp. 148–149. Only one Confederate regiment reported four wounded while a member of another regiment reported one killed and three wounded in his regiment. Others made no report, which does not mean they suffered no casualties. Greene, 2008, p. 149.
- Long, E. B. The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861–1865. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971. OCLC 68283123. p. 658.
- Harris, William C. Lincoln's Last Months. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-674-01199-1. p. 197. Retrieved February 10, 2015. – via Questia (subscription required).
- This should not be confused with Hancock Station on the Gettysburg Battlefield
- Bearss, 2014, p. 312.
- Long, 1971, pp. 658–679.
- Harris, 2004, pp. 197–198.
- Harris, 2004, p. 198.
- Greene, 2008, p. 160.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 310.
- Hess, 2009, pp. 254–255.
- Grant again privately assured Sheridan that he did not intend for Sheridan to go North Carolina but only to give him discretion in the event the planned offensive was unsuccessful. Bearss, 2014, p. 316.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 15.
- Horn, 1999, p. 220.
- Greene, 2008, p. 157.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 17.
- Greene, 2009, pp. 155–158.
- Trulock, Alice Rains. In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8078-2020-2. p. 230.
- Greene, 2009, p. 158.
- Hess, 2009, pp. 255–260.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 20–21.
- Trulock, 1992, pp. 231–238.
- Salmon, John S., The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide, Stackpole Books, 2001, ISBN 0-8117-2868-4. p. 459.
- Greene, 2009, p. 162.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 21.
- Hess, 2009, p. 256.
- Greene, 2008, p. 162.
- Bearss, 2014, 348.
- Hess, 2009, p. 257.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 16.
- Horn, 1999, p. 221.
- Greene, 2008, p. 149.
- Longacre, 2003, pp. 17, 52–53.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 337.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 356.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 18–19.
- Bearss, 2014, pp. 336–337.
- Horn, 1999, p. 222.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 351.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 20.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 353.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 354.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 357.
- Trulock, 1992, p. 242.
- Sheridan supported his argument by the false statement that his men had already reached White Oak Road at Five Forks. Bearss, 2014, p. 358.
- Greene, 2008, p. 163.
- Trulock, 1992, pp. 242–244.
- Trulock, 1992, p. 244.
- Trulock, 1992, p. 245.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 336.
- Greene, 2009, p. 160.
- Greene, 2009, p. 169.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 338.
- Greene, 2009, pp. 160, 169.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 358.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 363.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 366.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 367.
- Bearss, 2014, pp. 367–368.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 368.
- Greene, 2008, pp. 163, 165.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 371.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 201.
- Greene, 2008, p. 167.
- Greene, 2008, p. 168.
- Greene, 2008, p. 170.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 411.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 24.
- Hess, 2009, p. 258.
- Greene, 2009, p. 172.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 412.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 415.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 25.
- Hess, 3009, p. 259.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 422.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 423.
- Bearss, 2014, pp. 424–425.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 426.
- Calkins, 1997, P. 26.
- Bearss, 2014, pp. 426–427.
- Greene, 2009, p. 172–173.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 431.
- Greene, 2009, p. 173–174.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 432.
- Greene, 2009, p. 174.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 25–26.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 433.
- Bearss, 2014, pp. 434–435.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 434.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 201.
- Lowe, David W. White Oak Road in Kennedy, Frances H., ed., The Civil War Battlefield Guide, 2nd ed., Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998, ISBN 978-0-395-74012-5. p. 417. gives the casualties as Union 1,781 and Confederate as 900–1,235.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 22–24.
- Bearss, 2014, pp. 380–405.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 27–37.
- Weigley, 2000, p, 436.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 43–53.
- Weigley, 2000, pp. 436–437.
- Calkins, 1997, p. 53.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 69–73.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 87–89.
- Weigley, 2000, p. 438.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 97–115.
- Marvel, 2002, pp.87–93.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 131–138.
- Marvel, 2002, pp. 127–133.
- Calkins, 1997, pp. 123–131.
- Marvel, 2002, pp. 75–78; 121&ndash123.
- Weigley, 2000, p. 439.
- Weigley, 2000, pp. 439–442.
- Calkins, p. 200.
- Marvel, p. xi.
- Calkins, pp. 201–02.
- NPS campaigns. The references by Kennedy and Salmon also use this classification. The Calkins reference uses it for the Appomattox Campaign. Other references typically do not explicitly establish precise dates.
- Esposito, maps 138-44.
- Bearss, 2014, p. 313.
- Bearss, Edwin C., with Bryce A. Suderow. The Petersburg Campaign. Vol. 2, The Western Front Battles, September 1864 – April 1865. El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2014. ISBN 978-1-61121-104-7.
- Beringer, Richard E., Herman Hattaway, Archer Jones, and William N. Still, Jr. Why the South Lost the Civil War. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986. ISBN 0-8203-0815-3.
- Calkins, Chris. The Appomattox Campaign, March 29 – April 9, 1865. Conshohocken, PA: Combined Books, 1997. ISBN 978-0-938289-54-8.
- Davis, Burke. To Appomattox: Nine April Days, 1865. New York: Eastern Acorn Press reprint, 1981. ISBN 0-915992-17-5. First published New York: Rinehart, 1959.
- Davis, William C. An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2001. ISBN 978-0-15-100564-2.
- Esposito, Vincent J. West Point Atlas of American Wars. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1959. OCLC 5890637. The collection of maps (without explanatory text) is available online at the West Point website.
- Foote, Shelby. The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol. 3, Red River to Appomattox. New York: Random House, 1974. ISBN 978-0-394-74622-7.
- Greene, A. Wilson. The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign: Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-57233-610-0.
- Harris, William C. Lincoln's Last Months. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-674-01199-1. p. 197. Retrieved February 10, 2015. – via Questia (subscription required).
- Hattaway, Herman, and Archer Jones. How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983. ISBN 978-0-252-00918-1.
- Hess, Earl J. In the Trenches at Petersburg: Field Fortifications & Confederate Defeat. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-8078-3282-0.
- Horn, John. The Petersburg Campaign: June 1864-April 1865. Conshohocken, PA: Combined Publishing, 1999. ISBN 978-0-938289-28-9. p. 220. Retrieved February 11, 2015. – via Questia (subscription required)
- Kennedy, Frances H., ed. The Civil War Battlefield Guide. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998. ISBN 0-395-74012-6.
- Long, E. B. The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861–1865. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971. OCLC 68283123.
- Longacre, Edward G. The Cavalry at Appomattox: A Tactical Study of Mounted Operations During the Civil War's Climactic Campaign, March 27 – April 9, 1865. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 978-0-8117-0051-1.
- Marvel, William. Lee's Last Retreat: The Flight to Appomattox. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-8078-5703-8.
- McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. Oxford History of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-19-503863-0.
- National Park Service Civil War Battle Summaries by Campaign (Eastern Theater)
- Salmon, John S. The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001. ISBN 0-8117-2868-4.
- Sommers, Richard J. Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981. ISBN 978-0-385-15626-4.
- Stoker, Donald. The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-19-537-305-9.
- Trudeau, Noah Andre. The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864 – April 1865. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8071-1861-3.
- Trulock, Alice Rains. In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8078-2020-2.
- Weigley, Russell F. A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861–1865. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-253-33738-0.
- Winik, Jay. April 1865: The Month That Saved America. New York: HarperCollins, 2006. ISBN 978-0-06-089968-4. First published 2001.
- Bowery, Charles R., Jr., and Ethan S. Rafuse. Guide to the Richmond–Petersburg Campaign. U.S. Army War College Guides to Civil War Battles. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2014. ISBN 978-0-7006-1960-3.
- Catton, Bruce. A Stillness at Appomattox. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1953. ISBN 0-385-04451-8.
- The Battle of Sailor's Creek: Battle maps, history articles, photos, and preservation news (Civil War Trust)
- National Park Service: Appomattox Court House
- Appomattox Campaign in Encyclopedia Virginia
- Civil War Traveler site on the Appomattox Campaign