The town of Farmville, Virginia – through which both General Lee’s army and General Grant’s army marched – looms large in the closing days of the Civil War. Here are some of the reasons why, along with resources to help you explore further and plan a visit.
Lee’s Retreat Toward Farmville
In the spring of 1865, after the 10-month Siege of Petersburg, General Lee retreated westward with his army. Hoping to feed and resupply his men and connect with other Confederate armies, and with Union forces in pursuit, the stage was set for the final act of the Civil War.
The Battle of Saylor’s Creek
On April 6, 1865, just three days before the surrender at Appomattox Court House, nearly a quarter of General Lee’s army – more than 7,700 men – were killed, wounded or captured at the battle of Saylor’s Creek. Be sure to visit Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historic State Park.
The Battle of High Bridge
After giving up on his plan to issue provisions to his men at Farmville, General Lee moved to cross the Appomattox River at High Bridge, 4.5 miles north, and continue his westward retreat. On April 6, 1865, the Confederates fought to secure and cross the bridge. Then, on April 7, they fought to destroy the bridge to stop Union forces from following them.
Part of the Lee’s Retreat Civil War Driving Tour
Lee’s Retreat is a self-guided tour through the final days of troop movement and strategy between Lee’s Army and General Ulysses S. Grant’s Federal troops. Along the trail, you will find 25 stops, from Petersburg to Appomattox, with detailed audio and visual interpretation, allowing you to follow at your own pace.