The Battle of Boydton Plank Road occurred October 27-28 in 1864. It is also known as Burgess Mill or First Hatcher's Run. Boydton Plank Road is located in Petersburg, Virginia in Dinwiddie County. This battle was a mission by the Union Army to take control of the Boydton Plank Road. Boydton Plank Road had a supply line to Petersburg, and the Union wanted to cut it off. The results of the battle were deemed inconclusive. The location of this entry is for the Burgess' Mill battlefield marker off the Boydton Plank Road (Route 1).


  • Frank Leslie's Illustrated newspaper sketch of the battle. Shows the II Corps beginning their attack.
    Frank Leslie's Illustrated newspaper sketch of the battle. Shows the II Corps beginning their attack.
  • Union General Winfield S. Hancock
    Union General Winfield S. Hancock
  • Historical Marker for the battle, using the name of the battle most commonly used, "Burgess Mill"
    Historical Marker for the battle, using the name of the battle most commonly used, "Burgess Mill"
  • Map depicting the movements of the Union assault
    Map depicting the movements of the Union assault

Earlier in the month of October, Union forces had captured Confederate earthworks along the latter's right flank around Pebble's Farm area near Petersburg. The next Union assault to be made was to continue in capturing Confederate lines near Pebble's Farm along Boydton Plankton Road, which would also cut off an avenue of escape for the Confederates. 

On October 27, Union General Winfield S. Hancock led his men of the Union II (2nd) Corps against Confederate lines along the creek of Hatcher's Run, Burgess Mill and along the Boydton Plankton Road. Confederate generals A.P. Hill, Harry Heth (both army) and Wade Hampton (cavalry) tried to hold off the Union assault but were pushed aside. During the attack, Union generals George Meade and U.S. Grant noticed a gap between Hankcock's II Corps and V (5th) Corps and ordered General Crawford's division of the V Corps to fill the gap, but they became tangled up in the woods. Grant deemed the Confederate line too strong and stopped the assault. 

As Union soldiers returned to their lines, Hankcock's II Corps became isolated and surrounded by Confederate forces. As the II Corps tried fighting off the Confederate forces, Crawford's men were also driven off and threatened with encirclement as well. Fortunately, other Union forces, both infantry and cavalry, came to these men's rescue and in turn almost encircled the Confederate forces. Hankcock was able to hold onto the Boydton Plankton road for the rest of the day, but was forced back into his original position because he deemed his position on the road too unstable to hold. Because both sides returned to their original positions, the battle was inconclusive. Both sides lost around 3,000 total. 

nps.gov/abpp/battles/va079.htm history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-hatchers-run-burges-mill Newsome, Hampton. Richmond Must Fall: The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, October, 1864. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2013.