On 8 Apr. 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia, retreating from Petersburg toward Pittsylvania County, reached the hills to the northeast. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Federal army, pursuing Lee to the south, blocked him here. At dawn on 9 April, Palm Sunday, Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon's corps, with Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry, assaulted the Union line. Initially successful, the attempted breakout failed when additional Union infantry arrived on the field. That afternoon, Lee rode through the lines here to surrender his army.