Friday, April 1, 2011

Five Forks - "The Confederate Waterloo"

On April 1, 1865, Union forces under Major General Phillip Sheridan defeated a Confederate force lead by Major General George Pickett at Five Forks, VA.  The following morning, Lee informed President Davis that Petersburg and Richmond must be evacuated. Grant launched an all-out assault (the Third Battle of Petersburg) on the thinly manned Confederate entrenchments.

The events of the battle are illustrated nicely on the Petersburg National Battlefield site Five Forks. The National Park Service provides a downloadable brochure of the battlefield at Five Forks Battlefield.

Today the juncture of these five roads is marker by  few markers and a small museum.  The battlefield brochure guides visitors to a five stop driving tour.

You can learn more about the battle at the following sites: Five Forks, VA - Civil-War-Jouneys, Five Forks - National Park Service, Harper's Weekly - The Battle of Five Forks - Son of the South, and Decision at Five Forks - HistoryNet.

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