Once again using a strategy of attacking Richmond and then thrusting westward around Petersburg, Gen. Grant (USA) opened another offensive, his fifth overall, in September 1864. While the Army of the James overran portions of Richmond's outer defenses, Grant amassed a large number of troops on the western edge of the siege lines. Gen. Lee (CSA), meanwhile, diverted forces from Petersburg to meet the threat up north. On September 30 the Union forces launched their assault aimed at seizing the Boydton Plank Road and the South Side Railroad, important supply routes for the Confederates.
September 30, 1864
The Union forces struck across Squirrel Level Road by 1:00pm, sending the Confederates of that lightly manned section of trenches back towards Boydton Plank Road.
Due to clogged narrow roads and cautiousness, Gen. Parke (USA) did not attempt to attack the Confederate lines near Boydton Plank Road until 5:00pm.
Gen. A.P. Hill's (CSA) forces used this four-hour delay to bring reinforcements out from Petersburg. At that point the Confederates counter attacked and drove the Federals back towards Pegrams Farm.
Just before darkness settles in, the Confederates try to continue their attack against the Union troops at Pegrams Farm, but they are not successful and the fighting ends for the day.
October 1, 1864
Early in the morning the Confederates attacked again at Pegrams Farm to divert attention from Gen. Heth's (CSA) men coming down Squirrel Level Road. Heth was trying to hit the Union position from the rear.
But Warren was ready for this and the attack was quickly repulsed.
By October 2, the Confederates withdrew to their fortifications along Boydton Plank Road. This left the Union in possession of key secondary roads leading into Petersburg and allowed them to extend their siege lines further west.
Again, Grant did succeed in tightening his grip on the city but had failed to achieve his objectives. Lee, on the other hand, had failed to defeat the Union troops outright but had once more minimized the impact of their offensive.
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Last updated: August 27, 2022