In late March, cavalry commander Gen. Sheridan (USA) arrived in Petersburg having completed a successful campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. Gen. Grant (USA) instructed Sheridan and Gen. Warren (USA) to march west to capture the Boydton Plank Road and threaten the South Side Railroad. Even if the rail line was not seized this movement was to prevent Gen. Lee (CSA) from leaving Petersburg and heading to North Carolina to join another Confederate army there.
March 29, 1865
As Sheridan's men headed towards Dinwiddie Court House, Warren's V Corps turned north to take Boydton Plank Road.
Gen. Chamberlain's (USA) brigade was the lead element of the V Corps as a sharp fire fight swirled around the Lewis Farm. With repeated attacks and counter attacks the Confederates were finally driven back to their entrenchments along White Oak Road. Boydton Plank Road was in Union hands.
This action would be quickly followed by the fight at White Oak Road on March 31, 1865. This in turn set up the battle of Five Forks. Nonetheless, this one-day battle achieved what the last two Union offensives had not, the severing of the Boydton Plank Road, Lee's supply line to the south.
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Last updated: February 26, 2015