This Week in the Civil War - #1060
At Five Forks on Saturday, April 1, 1865, if Pickett’s defenders could not stop the Union attackers, Lee’s retreat to the west would be threatened. Late in the afternoon the Union attacked, but when Warren’s Union Fifth Corps of infantry was delayed, Sheridan promptly removed Warren from command. The ensuing battle split the remnant of Pickett’s command from the main Confederate army, crumpling Lee’s right flank and almost encircling Petersburg south of the Appomattox River. At Five Forks the Confederates suffered a horrific 4500 captured out of a force of barely over 10,000; with Sheridan’s cavalry and Warren’s Fifth Corps engaged the Union suffered only an approximate 1000 casualties. Lee had no alternative but to advise Jefferson Davis at Richmond that the Confederate capital should be immediately abandoned.