The Battle of Five Forks


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 22, 1865

This site features an online archive of our extensive collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers. These papers have a wealth of important news and information on the war. It is fascinating to watch the war unfold on the pages of these original Civil War Newspapers.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)


Five Forks

Battle of Five Forks

End Civil War

End of the Civil War

Lee's Surrender to General Grant


Petersburg Civil War Map

Richmond Capture

Capture of Richmond

Illinois Central Railroad Land

Illinois Central Railroad Land



Appomattox River

Lee Crossing the Appomattox River


Union Troops Occupying Petersburg Virginia

Richmond Fall

Fall of Richmond in the Civil War


Confederate Capitol in Richmond



VOL. IX.—No. 434.]



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1865, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.



THE people are full of rejoicing. The war for the Union has been their war, fought in their interest, sustained by their patriotism—a patriotism that has withheld neither property nor life.—let the people rejoice, then, in the final triumph, with a consciousness of their own strength, but especially with a conviction of the righteousness of their victory and a sense of overwhelming gratitude to the God of Battles. Their Hail Columbia is fitly accompanied by their Te Deums.

This journal having in its pictorial illustrations followed the course of events during the war, it is now with peculiar gratification that we present to our readers in this week's issue illustrations of the closing scenes of the great conflict. We give on page 247 a Map of the last battlefield of the Armies of Virginia. For this map, drawn from the official maps furnished to the corps commanders, we are indebted to the Army and Navy Journal. The decisive battle of Five Forks, fought by General SHERIDAN, April 1, and in which LONGSTREET'S corps was swept from the field and Robert E. Lee's right flank uncovered, we have illustrated on this page. This battle will go down to history as. the great master-piece of General PHIL SHERIDAN. For strategy it is

unsurpassed by any thing in the war. During the first stage of the battle the infantry was not disclosed. But so soon as LONGSTREET had been driven into his breast-works, then, by a sudden movement, he was flanked, and his entire command captured and dispersed. Our illustrations of the battle relate only to the operations of the cavalry. SHERMAN was more himself than ever before. Riding up and down along his front, his fiery enthusiasm inspired the men to almost superhuman

efforts. With such a presence among them there could be no shrinking from the fight. And it was an obstinate fight, too. But SHERIDAN knew what depended upon that action ; and when night came, and his work had been well done, he knew that LEE's army had been defeated.

The same spirit which had secured the victory on Saturday was infused into the army in front of Petersburg, in the Assault on the enemy's entire front on Sunday. This also we have illustrated on

page 244. We give on that page a sketch of the fort near Burgess Mill, where the Boydton Road crosses Hatcher's Run. It was out of this fort that the rebels were flanked by the Sixth Corps. On Sunday night this corps had advanced to the banks of the Appomattox, above Petersburg, having captured 2000 prisoners and about 20 guns. Another sketch on the same page illustrates the gallantry of Colonel SNIPER, of the One Hundred and Eighty-fifth New York, who, after four color-sergeants had

been shot down, and two line officers, who had taken the colors from the hands of the sergeant, himself seized them and rallied his wavering line. A third sketch represents the rebels retreating across the Appomattox, by the turnpike-bridge, they having set fire to the Railroad Bridge, just above. The building shown in this sketch was the rebel Commissary Depot.

On page 245 we illustrate the entrance of Petersburg by the Ninth Corps. The first troops to enter the city were Michigan veterans, under General ELT. The rebels had been crossing the Appomattox all night, and had just brought up their rear as our troops entered. The flag was raised over the Custom-house by the Second Michigan Regiment.

On the same day General WEITZEL entered Richmond, which had been evacuated Sunday night. The rebel General GARY's cavalry had been the last to leave the city. his force passed up Main Street not five minutes ahead of the Union column. The scene of the entrance of the Union army has been graphically portrayed by our artist on pages 248 and 249. KAUTZ'S cavalry were in the advance, and were met by Mayor MAYO and a deputation of the citizens, who formally surrendered the city. Most of WEITZEL'S men were negroes, and their advent excited the

greatest enthusiasm among the swarthy denizens of the rebel capital. It is estimated that one half of the population left in Richmond were negroes. Nor was the enthusiasm manifested by the citizens confined to the negroes. All seemed glad, as if they had thrown off from their shoulders an intolerable burden. The city was on fire when our troops entered. By order of General BRECKINRIDGE the torch had been applied to all the public buildings, from the Tredegar Works, on the canal above the (Next Page)

The Battle of Five Forks


General Sheridan at the Battle of Five Forks




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