With the intent of cutting off the last two supply lines out of Petersburg, Boydton Plank Road and the South Side Railroad, Gen. Grant (USA) launches another two-pronged offensive, the sixth overall, aimed at Petersburg and Richmond. In late October, the Army of the James is sent to attack the defenses around Richmond and the II, V, and IX Corps are sent westward around Petersburg.
October 27, 1864
The IX and V Corps were to hit the Confederate fortifications while the II Corps was to cut the supply lines. Between the weather, the terrain, and poor maps the attack went slowly and the Confederates responded quickly.
Gen. Heth (CSA) stretched his line to stop the V and IX Corps from getting to Boydton Plank Road and he then sent Gen. Mahone (CSA) to attack the right flank of the II Corps. Gen. Hancock (USA), commander of the II Corps, turns Mahone's initial success into a trap.
Mahone was repulsed and Hancock showed his old self in this his last battle of the Civil War. However, Union troops were forced to retreat back to their original positions.
The successful Confederate defense at Burgess Mill, combined with the Federal failure at Richmond added up to another failure for a Union offensive.
This, the last major battle of the siege in 1864, was a turning point in the strategy employed by the Union. From this point forward Grant would use a single-prong approach, aimed at Petersburg, to take the last supply lines of Petersburg.
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Last updated: February 26, 2015