Second Battle of Weldon Railroad, Yellow Tavern, Yellow House, Blick’s Station
18 Aug 1864
- 21 Aug 1864
Maj. Gen. G.K. Warren, USA
Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill, Maj. Gen. Henry Heth, and Maj. Gen. William Mahone, CSA
Both sides had Corps-sized forces, totaling 34,000.
The Union lost a little over 4,200, the Confederates about 1,600.
While Hancock’s command demonstrated north of the James River at Deep Bottom, the Union V Corps and elements of the IX and II Corps under Warren’s command were withdrawn from the Petersburg entrenchments to operate against the Weldon Railroad. This was the left hand of the two punches Grant was swinging at the same time.
At dawn on August 18, Warren advanced, driving Confederate pickets back until he reached the railroad at Globe Tavern. In the afternoon, Maj. Gen. Henry Heth’s division attacked and drove Ayres’s division back toward the tavern. Both sides entrenched during the night.
On August 19, Maj. Gen. William Mahone, whose division had hastily returned from north of James River, attacked with five infantry brigades, rolling up the right flank of Crawford’s division. This was not the end of things. Warren was heavily reinforced and counterattacked, and by nightfall had retaken most of the ground lost during the afternoon.
On the 20th, the Federals laid out and entrenched a strong defensive line covering the Blick House and Globe Tavern and extending east to connect with the main Federal lines at Jerusalem Plank Road. But they had lost momentum – their victory was in stretching the Confederate line rather than in breaking it.
On August 21, Hill probed the new Federal line for weaknesses but found none. With the fighting at Globe Tavern, Grant succeeded in extending his siege lines to the west and cutting Petersburg’s primary rail connection with Wilmington, North Carolina. The Confederates were now forced to off-load rail cars at Stony Creek Station for a 30-mile wagon haul up Boydton Plank Road to reach Petersburg.