Portrait of Robert E. Lee

The Confederate loss at the Battle of Five Forks prompted Confederate General Robert E. Lee to abandon Petersburg and Richmond. [Wikimedia Commons]

Battle of Five Forks Facts

April 1, 1865

Key facts about the Battle of Five Forks.

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Date and Location

  • April 1, 1865
  • Dinwiddie County, Virginia

Campaign

Principal Union Commanders

Principal Confederate Commanders

Union Forces Engaged

  • Army of the Shenandoah (5th Corps, Cavalry Corps)

Confederate Forces Engaged

  • Army of Northern Virginia (Pickett Division, Munford’s Division, W.H.F. Lee’s Cavalry Division, Rosser’s Cavalry Division

Number of Union Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 17,000

Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 9,200

Estimated Union Casualties

  • 830 casualties (killed, wounded, and captured/missing)

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • 2,950 casualties (killed, wounded, and captured/missing)

Result

  • Union victory

Significance

  • The Battle of Five Forks is sometimes called the Waterloo of the Confederacy.
  • The Confederate loss at the Battle of Five Forks prompted Confederate General Robert E. Lee to abandon Petersburg and Richmond.
  • Major General Philip Sheridan relieved Major General G.K. Warren of his command of the Union 5th Corps after the Battle of Five Forks because he was dissatisfied with Warren’s performance during the engagement.
  • Major General George Pickett was two miles away from his command attending a shad bake when the Battle of Five Forks began.
  • Some historians consider the Battle of Five Forks as part of the Petersburg Campaign; other historians consider it as part of the Appomattox Campaign.

Timeline of the Appomattox Campaign

These are the main battles and events of the Appomattox Campaign in order.

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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Five Forks Facts
  • Coverage April 1, 1865
  • Author
  • Keywords battle of five forks
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 30, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 24, 2021
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