The Battle of Sailor's Creek, Virginia

Buckeye Bill

Captain
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
The Battle of Sailor's Creek (Sayler's Creek, Little Sailor's Creek, Harper's Farm, Marshall's Cross Roads, Hillsman Farm, Double Bridges, or Lockett's Farm) was fought on April 6, 1865, near Farmville, Virginia, as part of the Appomattox Campaign, near the end of the American Civil War. It was the last major engagement between the armies of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Federal General Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant before the capitulation of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House three days later.

* Virginia State Historic Marker "The Battle of Sailor's (Sayler's) Creek."

DSC_0300-001.JPG


* The Sailor's Creek Battlefield Visitor Center.

DSC_0307-001.JPG


* The Battle of Sailor's Creek Monument.

DSC_0308-001.JPG


* The Visitor Center Display Room.

DSC_0317-001.JPG


* The Battle of Sailor's Creek Map.

DSC_0313-001.JPG


* The Confederate Army's View of the Federal Army's Position at the Hillsman House.

DSC_0322-001.JPG


* The Federal Army's View of the Confederate Army's Position.

DSC_0328-001.JPG


* The Hillsman House.

DSC_0304-001.JPG


* Cannon with Limber at the Hillsman House.

DSC_0325-001.JPG


* The Michigan Cavalry Brigade at the Battle of Sailor's Creek.

DSC_0310-001.JPG


* Photos courtesy of William Bechmann (2016).
 
Last edited:

Buckeye Bill

Captain
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
* Civil War Trust Map.

sailors-creek-april-6-6.jpg


* The Battle of Marshall's Crossroads painting by Keith Rocco.

union-cavalry-at-sailors.jpg


* The Marshall's Crossroads (Just South of the Sailor's Creek Battlefield South Side Entrance).

DSC_0336-001.JPG


* The Lee's Retreat "Battle of Marshall's Crossroads" Marker.

DSC_0334-001.JPG
 

1st Va Co A

Private
Joined
Jun 1, 2016
Location
Richmond, Va
Bill,

Thanks for a very informative and well done post! The pictures are great as well, and really add to the presentation.

My Confedrate ancestor, (Seen in my avatar above), was among those captured at this battle. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Richmond Local Defense, who left under General Ewell's command on April 2nd in what comprised the last military units to evacuate the city, and was among those torching the bridges on the way out. I just became acquainted with him last year through some genealogy research.

I had no idea that this particular battlefield was so well preserved, had such a nice museum, or that it was a state park! My family will be making the roughly 1-hour trip from Richmond to this site as soon we can.

Thanks so much taking the time to put together and share this information. I can't wait to stand on the ground where my ancestor fought his last battle!

image.jpg
 
Last edited:

Buckeye Bill

Captain
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Bill,

Thanks for a very informative and well done post! The pictures are great as well, and really add to the presentation.

My Confedrate ancestor, (Seen in my avatar above), was among those captured at this battle. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Richmond Local Defense, who left under General Ewell's command on April 2nd in what comprised the last military units to evacuate the city, and was among those torching the bridges on the way out. I just became acquainted with him last year through some genealogy research.

I had no idea that this particular battlefield was so well preserved, had such a nice museum, or that it was a state park! My family will be making the roughly 1-hour trip from Richmond to this site as soon we can.

Thanks so much taking the time to put together and share this information. I can't wait to stand on the ground where my ancestor fought his last battle!

View attachment 106804

My pleasure, my friend!

My son and I did not walk most of the trails because a heavy rain storm swept through this beautiful area in Virginia.

The visitor center is very impressive!

We shall return again.......

Bill
 

nc native

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Location
NC Piedmont
Sailor's Creek was the darkest day in the storied history of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Many of the high ranking Confederate officers that were captured were with the wagon trains
and in ill health. In the History of the Eighteenth Virginia, a solider mentions that this
regiment formed the hollow square in desperation to try to fight off the Union cavalry
which was relentless in the pressure they kept on it. To sum up the action at Sailor's
Creek, the Union cavalry was the hammer and the Union infantry was the anvil the
left wing of what remained of the Army of Northern Virginia was crushed against.
 

Chattahooch33

Sergeant Major
Annual Winner
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Location
Cobb's Legion Country - Bowdon, Ga.

Marching the 5 miles from our campsite to the battlefield on the original roads through a snow storm was one of my favorite reenacting moments.
People were coming out of their houses waving us on... probably the same thing that happened 150 years earlier.
 

Chattahooch33

Sergeant Major
Annual Winner
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Location
Cobb's Legion Country - Bowdon, Ga.
I was fortunate to visit Sailor's Creek last year for the 150th. I had read about the battle and wanted to visit since it was the last hurrah for my primary interest (Wofford's Georgia Brigade) who were destroyed as a fighting unit there. When my unit announced that Sailors Creek would be one of the national events we would go to I jumped at the chance. There is little in the area and you only visit that area if you are going to Appomattox or Sailors Creek so it is difficult to combine trips.
@CheathamHill and I went up early and visited Petersburg and Pamplin Park before driving the ANV's route out of Richmond.
 

bankerpapaw

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Location
Rome, Georgia

Frederick14Va

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Location
Virginia
Excellent pictures!!! I notice it is

Excellent pictures. I have noticed on some maps that it is spelled Saylor's Creek.

The correct spelling was a subject of much debate over the years... but variations were commonly found that had it also as Saylers, Saylors and Sailors. Different maps and accounts gave it different ways... that had no real pattern or reasoning to it. For many decades it had been spelled as Saylers.... Further research into it finally revealed that no such family, or notable was in the area thus named.... Its origin was not found... So appeared that it was simply a case of the name being spelled phonetically... hence the differences... A very early map of the area was located, the earliest one to be found... and it had as "Sailors"... so that's what settled the debate... well sorta.... but parts of it still continue... since "Sailors Creek State Battlefield Park".... sits along "Saylers Creek"... which the highway department has been rather slow to consider the change.... just something else to confuse people I think...lol..
 

Frederick14Va

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Location
Virginia
Great photos, Fred! Thanks for sharing.


Wish I could have been there, but at that point I hadn't made the connection to my Confederate ancestor and this battle yet.


Hope I don't have to wait another 50 years for the next one!

In decades past... Sailors Creek was once an annual event every April.... many folks will proclaim one of these events was their memorable first event ever.... I think the last annual one was around 2002 or so... then they ceased for a variety of reasons....

It was brought back for the 150th anniversary for a one time event... I was the Event Coordinator and CS Commander for it... Unfortunately due to the recent heavy rains, and freezing temps, we had to scale back the scripted and scheduled event by over half of what was initially planned for... It was to be a steady running active fight over several miles over original ground... the troops would have had to cross the creek several times along the route... fighting cross country over a number of different farms.... What had previously and normally been a simple hardly ankle deep little stream... had turned quickly into a near waist deep rapids of sorts that Friday evening... temps hovering around the freezing mark... I pulled the plug on the "extra" encounters for the troops safety... and we ended up only doing the last third of the overall scenario that didn't involve taking the plunge... When we stepped off early Saturday morning it had snow flurries... Even with less than half of the plan going into effect it still ended up quite a memorable event. This will probably not take place again in the foreseeable future... This was a one time thing. The Park does conduct a small annual Living History program each year of the anniversary, but not a battle or tactical event.
 
Top