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White Oak Road (1864)
 
War:   American Civil War
 
Also known as:   Hatcher’s Run, Gravelly Run, Boydton Plank Road, White Oak Ridge
 
Date(s):   31 Mar 1864
 
Location:   Dinwiddie County, Virginia, US
 
Outcome:   Union gained ground
 
Principal   Commanders:   Confederate: Robert E. Lee
 
Description:   Maj. Gen. G.K. Warren, USA
Lt. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, CSA

The Union had cavalry and an infantry corps; the Confederates had less of each.

Union losses were almost 1,900; Confederate losses a bit over 750.

On March 30, Lee shifted reinforcements to meet the Federal movement to turn his right flank, placing Maj. Gen. W.H. Fitzhugh Lee’s cavalry divisions at Five Forks and transferring Pickett’s division from the Bermuda Hundred front to the extreme right. Warren pushed the V Corps forward and entrenched a line to cover the Boydton Plank Road from its intersection with Dabney Mill Road south to Gravelly Run. Ayres’s division advanced northwest toward White Oak Road.

On March 31, in combination with Sheridan’s thrust via Dinwiddie Court House, Warren directed his corps against the Confederate entrenchments along White Oak Road, hoping to cut Lee’s communications with Pickett at Five Forks. The Union advance was stalled by a crushing counterattack directed by Maj. Gen. Bushrod Johnson, which surprised Ayres’ division, which fell back on Crawford’s division, disorganizing both. Warren stabilized his position with an attack led by Joshua Chamberlain (Warren asked him “will you save the honor of the Fifth Corps?”) and his soldiers closed on the road by day’s end. This fighting set up the Confederate defeat at Five Forks on April 1, but Warren could not move up to Dinwiddie Court House, where Sheridan wanted him.


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Selected sources:
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