March 29, 1865 – This Day During The American Civil War – Battle of Lewis’s Farm

March 29, 1865 – The Battle of Lewis’s Farm was fought in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, during the American Civil War. It was the opening of the Appomattox Campaign, in which Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army was dislodged from their besieged lines around Petersburg, Virginia, and began a retreat that would lead them to surrender at Appomattox Court House. On March 29, 1865, in the opening moves of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s spring offensive, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan marched with the army’s cavalry followed by the V Corps toward Dinwiddie Court House, to turn the right flank of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Petersburg defenses. The Union V Corps under Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren crossed Rowanty Creek, moved up Quaker Road towards the Boydton Plank Road intersection, and encountered Maj. Gen. Bushrod Johnson’s Confederate brigades. A sharp firefight forced the Confederates back to their entrenchments on the White Oak Road. The brigade of Brig. Gen. Joshua Chamberlain was conspicuous in the engagement, leading the main advance. Lt. Gen. Richard H. Anderson ordered two brigades that had dug in to move forward to intercept Chamberlain, who, although wounded, rallied his troops with the help of a four-gun battery. Reinforced, Chamberlain counterattacked and captured the enemy’s earthworks. Colonel Alfred L. Pearson in command of the 155th Pennsylvania Infantry, also known as “Pearson’s Zouaves”, would belatedly receive the Congressional Medal of Honor 32 years after the battle of Lewis’s Farm. His citation reads: “At Lewis’ Farm, Va., 29 March 1865, Seeing a brigade forced back by the enemy, he seized his regimental color, called on his men to follow him, and advanced upon the enemy under a severe fire. The whole brigade took up the advance, the lost ground was regained, and the enemy was repulsed. Date of issue: 17 September 1897.”

Battle of Lewis’s Farm

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