Sunday, April 01, 2012

Civil War Sesquicentennial Notes, 1 April 1865

1 April 1865: The retreat to Appomattox continues. Sheridan renews his attack on Lee’s flank at Five Forks, VA. Lee orders General Picket (of Gettysburg fame) to “Hold at all costs.” By evening the cost to the Army of Northern Virginia is 5,000 casualties, the loss of General Picket’s division, and a valuable road network that now would serve to speed up the Union attack. “. . . the Army of the Potomac, officers and men, were so elated by the reflection that at last they were following up a victory it its end, that they preferred marching without rations to running a possible risk of letting the enemy elude them. So the march was resumed. . . .” General Ulysses S. Grant, The Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant William S. McFeely, ed. (De Capo Press: New York), 1982, p. 543.

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