Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The End Of A Rail Raid

A part of the Wilson-Kautz Rail Raid, the Battle of Sappony Church took place on June 28th 1864.

Three rail lines supplied the Confederates at Petersburg, Virginia, the Richmond - Petersburg Railroad, the South Side Railroad, and the Weldon Railroad. Union General Ulysses S Grant on June 22nd 1864 sent a cavalry unit under the command of Brigadier Generals James H Wilson and August V Kautz to disrupt these rail lines. The raid would put 60 miles track out of use. The Union cavalry was hotly followed by Confederate Major General William HF Rooney Lee, he caught up with them at Staunton Bridge where the Confederate force attacked. Lee pursued the Union cavalry as they retreated toward Union lines.

The Union cavalry crossed the Nottoway River on June 28th 1864 at the Double Bridges, reaching Stony Creek Depot on the Weldon Railroad. There Confederate Major General Wade Hampton attacked the Union cavalry. While this was going on Lee’s cavalry joined in the attack. Kautz and Wilson disengaged and ordered a retreat to the north to the Halifax Road, try to reach Reams Railway Station.

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