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Maps of Sailor's Creek, Virginia (1865)
Battle of Sailor's Creek - Lockett Farm

 

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Battle of Sailor's Creek - Hillsman Farm

Battle of Sailor's Creek
Little Sailor's Creek, Saylor's Creek
April 6, 1865

On the rainy morning of April 6, skirmish fire announced that Andrew Humphreys' Union Second Corps had spied Lee's move and was now in pursuit. At the same time, Phil Sheridan's cavalry rode parallel to Lee's line of retreat, launching hit-and-run strikes on the Rebel column. Anderson and Ewell's troops halted at Holt's Corner to fend off the Federal attackers, thus creating a two-mile gap between Anderson and the nearest friendly unit. Into that gap George Custer thrust his horsemen, netting a number of artillery pieces in the vicinity of Marshall's Crossroads. Making matters worse, Ewell caught sight of another Federal corps—Horatio Wright's Sixth Corps—approaching from the east. With Yankee cavalry blocking the road to Farmville and infantry nipping at its heals, a sizable portion of Lee's army was caught in a vice that was threatening to crush them.

After the alarm at Holt’s Corner, John Gordon's Confederate Second Corps and the supply train were diverted to the north in the hopes of reuniting them with the rest of the army. However, the Union Second Corps, under Andrew Humphreys was in close pursuit, forcing Gordon made a series of stands on high ground as the train withdrew. Only when the wagons became bottle-necked at the Double Bridges over Sailor's Creek, did the Federals get within striking distance. At around 5 PM, the Humphreys’ men attacked the Southern wagon guard. The bulk of Gordon's force was driven across to the opposite bank before darkness ended the fighting on this part of the field.

 

For history articles, photos, and more on this battle of the Appomattox Campaign, visit our Battle of Sailor's Creek page »

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