• Poplar Grove National Cemetery Luminary Event (photo courtesy of Joanne Williams)

    Petersburg

    National Battlefield Virginia

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  • No Parking Available in the Eastern Front Unit August 2

    Free shuttle service will transport all visitors to and from the Eastern Front Unit on August 2 during 150th Anniv. of the Battle of the Crater events. Shuttles will depart from the Farmer's Market located at 9 Old St. in Old Towne Petersburg.

  • Eastern Front Unit Trails Closed to Horse Traffic on August 2

    Those who would like to ride horses at the park on Aug. 2 are encouraged to use the trails at Five Forks in Dinwiddie County as other trails will be closed to horses that day while the park commemorates the 150th Anniv. of the Battle of the Crater.

Five Forks

Prelude

Despite his success the day before, April 1, 1865, found Gen. Pickett (CSA) having to fall back and make a stand at Five Forks. This intersection was the most critical along the whole front. If Pickett failed here against Gen. Sheridan's (USA) cavalry and Gen. Warren's (USA) V Corps, then Gen. Grant (USA) would finally be able to take the South Side Railroad and force Gen. Lee (CSA) to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond.



4:00 pm

With Pickett dug in along side of the White Oak Road, Sheridan planned to have Warren hit the Confederate left while his dismounted cavalrymen engaged the rest of the line in heavy skirmishing.

Warren finally had his men in position and on the move late in the afternoon.



4:30 - 5:00 pm

The V Corps overwhelmed the Confederate left. Some of the Union troops accidentally veered to the north and ended up cutting off Ford's Road. It is at this point Pickett, who has been dining with subordinates behind his line, sees the Union troops and barely makes it past them to re-join his men.



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Did You Know?

Charles Dimmock, Architect of the Petersburg defense line.

From the summer of 1862 until the spring of 1863, Confederate Captain Charles Dimmock appealed to slaveholders to hire their enslaved people, and also hired free black laborers to dig the ten-mile defense line around the City of Petersburg. The defenses became known as the Dimmock Line.