In the Spring of 1865, General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, with 60,000 soldiers remaining, was stretched thin along 37 miles of entrenchments protecting Petersburg and the Confederate capital of Richmond from Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant's 100,000 Union solders. On April 1,22,000 Northern troops under Maj. Geral Philip H. Sheridan broke through the lines at Five Forks, defended by 10,000 men under Maj. General George E. Pickett. Within hours of the defeat, General Lee telegraphed the Confederate War Department that both Petersburg and Richmond would have to be abandoned on that night.
Battle of Five Forks
April 1, 1865
12 miles southwest of Petersburg, Virginia
May 27, 2014
2:49 - 2:50 pm