The Battle of White Oak Road

The Battle of White Oak Road (HM9MC)

Location: Petersburg, VA 23803
Country: United States of America

N 37° 9.052', W 77° 32.755'

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The Union Counterattack

As the fight progressed, the Confederates met stiffening resistance. Lee and his subordinates realized they had too few troops to hold their advanced position. They determined to withdraw to the slight earthworks constructed by the Federal soldiers just south of this point. In the meantime, Union forces regrouped and were bolstered by reinforcements. At about 2:30 p.m., with everything in place, Union General Warren ordered a counterattack. General Robert E. Lee stood near this gun emplacement with General Bushrod R. Johnson and watched the advance of the Union columns.

When the final attack started, Federal General Joshua L. Chamberlain wrote, "we went with a rush, not minding ranks or alignments, but with open front to lessen loss from the long-range rifles?" Chamberlain's men struck "Hunton's brigade in front and for a few minutes there is a seething wave of counter currents, then rolling back, leaving a fringe of wrecks, - and all is over. We pour over the works, swing to the right and drive the enemy into their entrenchments along the Claiborne Road, and then establish ourselves across the White Oak Road facing northeast, and take breath."

Union forces had secured a lodgment along the road, and were now in between the Confederates here and their compatriots a few miles to the west at Five Forks, preventing either group of Southerners from reinforcing the other. However, Union General Warren deemed that the Confederate defenses on the Claiborne Road were too strong to assault, and he ended the fighting for the day. Casualties had been heavy: 1,865 Federals and an estimated 800 Confederates had fallen, but Federal troops now held the White Oak Road. The end was near.
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HM NumberHM9MC
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Placed ByCivil War Preservation Trust
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 10:07am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 273902 N 4114643
Decimal Degrees37.15086667, -77.54591667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 9.052', W 77° 32.755'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 9' 3.12" N, 77° 32' 45.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804, 434, 757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 20813-20977 State Rte 613, Petersburg VA 23803, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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