1 April 1865 — Five Forks, Virginia
Philip Sheridan’s troops, especially Gouverneur Warren’s V Corps, attacked George Pickett’s troops on 1 April 1865 at Five Forks, Virginia. Because of the bad state of the roads, Warren didn’t attack until around 4 p.m., angering Sheridan. Although two of Warren’s divisions missed the Confederate line due to faulty intelligence, a third fought and, in a charge led by Sheridan, routed the left flank of Pickett’s troops. Warren had to ride off to track down the two divisions that had passed the line to reorient their attack, and his departure further frustrated Sheridan, who relieved him of his command (Warren was eventually cleared of wrongdoing in 1882). It was a Union victory. Pickett and his top commanders actually missed the battle because they were a few miles away having lunch and hadn’t informed their subordinates where they were going. The Battle of Five Forks is significant because the loss of the important Confederate position led to the abandonment of Petersburg and Richmond and forced Lee’s troops to move west during the Appomattox campaign.