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APRIL 1-9, 1865

(PAGE 1 OF 8)

Retreat Map
Retreat route is in red .

  Because the Confederate and Union units took so many different routes during the retreat it is impractical, in this short presentation, to attempt to describe all of them. There appears to be, however, a general consensus regarding an auto tour which would include most of the major events of the retreat. This perceived consensus is the source for the path described here and shown on the maps in this section.

A majority of the text not written specifically for this section is from the U.S. Gov't, National Park Service) - Ed.

In the text, the icon is a link to the definition of the word it marks.
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Five Forks aerial view
Five Forks - Aerial View.

April 1, 1865

Estimated Casualties: 3,780 total (US 830; CS 2,950)

Gen. Robert E. Lee ordered Pickett with his infantry division and Munford's, W.H.F. Lee's, and Rosser's cavalry divisions to hold the vital crossroads of Five Forks at all hazard. On April 1, while Sheridan's cavalry pinned the Confederate force in position, the V Corps under Maj. Gen. G.K. Warren attacked and overwhelmed the Confederate left flank, taking many prisoners.

Five Forks Drawing   228
Charge of the Fifth Corps on Pickett's troops at Five Forks, April 1, 1865

Sheridan personally directed the attack, which extended Lee's Petersburg lines to the breaking point.

Five Forks 2006
Five Forks - May, 2006.
(Previous N.P.S. Visitor Center is on the left.)

Loss of Five Forks threatened Lee's last supply line, the South Side Railroad. The next morning, Lee informed Jefferson Davis that Petersburg and Richmond must be evacuated. Union general Winthrop was killed; “Willie” Pegram, beloved Confederate artillery officer, was mortally wounded.

Sheridan 229   Warren 92
General Philip H. Sheridan   General Gouverneur K. Warren

Dissatisfied with his performance at Five Forks, Sheridan relieved Warren of command of the V Corps.

Five Forks Monument
Five Forks Monument


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