This Week in the Civil War - #1065
With the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in retreat, Union forces at Saylor’s Creek on Thursday, April 6, 1865 exploited a gap between the troops of Lee, Longstreet, and Mahone and those of Ewell and Anderson. Federal troops attacked the Confederates as they attempted to cross the Appomattox River; in bitter fighting Ewell’s command of approximately 8000 men was forced to surrender. That constituted about a third of the men that Lee had after retreating from Richmond to Amelia Court House. Saylor’s Creek was the last major engagement between Lee’s forces and the Union Army of the Potomac. At Saylor’s Creek, the fighting effectiveness of the Confederate army was essentially eliminated; Lee had virtually no option short of total annihilation of his troops but to surrender to Grant.