October 27, 1864: Battle of Boydton Plank Road

BoydtonPlankRoadPreludeNPSMap

 

The last significant military operation at Petersburg in 1864, the battle of Boydton Plank Road was  part of the efforts of the Army of the Potomac to cut the Confederate South Side Railroad that supplied Petersburg and Richmond from the west. This was no small effort, consisting of Winfield Scott’s corps, reinforced by infantry divisions from other corps and a cavalry division.

On October 27, 1864 Hancock crossed Hatcher’s Run creek and moved around the Confederate right flank heading for Burgess Mill.  General Henry Heth, commanding A.P. Hill’s corps due to the illness of Hill, interposed two divisions to stop Hancock.  Hancock made good progress when Meade ordered a hault to the offensive, concerned about a five mile gap developing between the Union left and Hancock.

Hancock retreated to Hatcher’s Run, only to find the ford now being held by Confederate cavalry.  Heth now went on the offensive, hoping to bag Hancock’s corps, isolated as it now was from the rest of the Union army.

Hancock kept calm, beat off the Confederate attacks and retreated across Hatcher’s Run during the night.  Union casualties were 1700 to 1300 Confederate.  Grant in his memoirs summed up this action and the closing down of operations around Petersburg for the remainder of the year: (more…)

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Published in: on October 27, 2014 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on October 27, 1864: Battle of Boydton Plank Road  
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