One Last Advance

One Last Advance (HM1PBW)

Location: Henrico, VA 23231 Henrico County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 26.65', W 77° 21.1'

  • 0 likes
  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
  • 199 views
Inscription

Battle of Darbytown (New Market) Road

— Siege of Petersburg & Richmond 1864-1965 —

(preface)
For almost ten months beginning in mid-June 1864, the Army of the Potomac besieged the cities of Petersburg and Richmond from the east and south. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered the Union fortifications extended west Petersburg and launched frequent attacks there and near Richmond, forcing Confederate Gen. Robert E Lee to stretch his thin defensive lines and move his outnumbered troops to counter the attacks. On April 3, 1865, Lee evacuated his army west after the Federal breakthrough at Petersburg, and the Union army occupied both cities.

(main text)
The last advance by the Army of Northern Virginia north of the James River took place directly across New Market Road in October 1864, on orders of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Gen. Charles W. Field's division, with Gen. Robert F. Hoke's division in support, was to overwhelm Union Gen. August V. Kautz's cavalry division on Darbytown Road and then turn south to recapture Fort Harrison, which the Federals had occupied on September 29.

The battle began successfully at dawn on October 7 as the combined Confederate assault overpowered the Union cavalry stationed on Darbytown Road. Two hours elapsed before the attack could continue, however, giving Union Gen. Alfred H. Terry time to redeploy his division to face the Confederate attack in the fields just north of here. For unknown reasons, Hoke's division failed to support Field. Union infantry, armed with Spencer repeating rifles, inflicted heavy casualties on the Confederates. Wooded, difficult terrain caused disorganization among the Confederate brigades. At the height of the fighting, Confederate Gen. John Gregg was shot in the neck and killed while leading his Texas brigade. The attack soon fell apart, and the remnants of the Confederate force withdrew west to their original defensive lines. Lee's last advance north of the James River resulted in more than 1,000 Confederate casualties while the Federals suffered fewer than 500.

(sidebar)
The Union victory at the Battle of Darbytown Road can be attributed in part to advanced weapons technology. Most of Gen. Joseph C. Abbott's infantry regiments in Terry's division were equipped with Spencer rifles—a magazine-fed, lever-action weapon utilizing metal cartridges. The rifles had a firing rate of one shot every three seconds, far faster than the single-shot rifles that most Confederates carried. James Spencer designed the rifle in 1860, but the U.S. Army did not begin introducing them until 1863; carbines came later. Capt. Albert Maxfield, 11th Maine Infantry, wrote that it seemed as if the Spencer rifles fired "seven volleys in one. ... The rebels stopped broke and fell back to cover, leaving the woods piled with their dead and dying."

(captions)
Gen. Alfred H. Terry Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. John Gregg Courtesy Library of Congress
Federals near New Market Road repulse Confederate infantry during the Battle of Darbytown Road Courtesy Library of Congress
Unidentified Union soldiers holding Spencer carbines Courtesy Library of Congress
Details
HM NumberHM1PBW
Tags
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, November 16th, 2015 at 9:01am PST -08:00
Pictures
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 291965 N 4146743
Decimal Degrees37.44416667, -77.35166667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 26.65', W 77° 21.1'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 26' 39" N, 77° 21' 6" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2579-2599 VA-5, Henrico VA 23231, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?