Reams Station: The Last Hours



August 25, 1864
6:00 pm

By 6:00 pm the assault had lost its momentum and in return Hancock reminded the Confederates why he was a worthy adversary.

Regrouping the II Corps he sent his men back down the lost trenches and across the field to Oak Grove Church. Initially successful, the counterattack failed. In the midst of this Hancock told a staff officer, "Colonel, I do not care to die, but I pray to God I may never leave this field!"



7:00 pm

Hampton and Hill are finally able to coordinate an attack upon the Union position and under this pressure the II Corps was swept from the field by 7:00 pm.




In Hill's triumph, Hancock realized his greatest defeat as a corps commander, losing nearly 3,000 soldiers as casualties or as prisoners. Though Hancock would have some measure of success at Burgess Mill he never quite recovered from Reams Station and relinquished command of the II Corps by Thanksgiving of that year.

The victory at Reams Station meant Lee, though unable to force the Union off the Weldon Railroad completely, had minimized further damage to the rail and had kept most of his supply line intact.


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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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