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The Battle of High Bridge occurred on April 6th and 7th of 1865 near the end of the Appomattox Campaign of the American Civil War. On April 6, the Confederate cavalry fought to secure the Appomattox River bridges. On April 7, parts of the Union II Corps fought against Lt. General James Longstreet's rear guard who attempted to catch fire to the High Bridge and wagon bridge. Union forces saved the wagon bridge and the Union II Corps crossed it in pursuit of General Robert E. Lee's army. The failure to destroy the bridge allowed Union forces to catch up to the Confederates at Farmville.


  • High Bridge
  • High Bridge

     High Bridge was used to cross the Appomattox River to reach Farmville, Virginia.  Robert E. Lee and his army retreated westward after the fall of Petersburg.  Along their way they purposely destroyed paths that the Union would take to come after them.  They wanted to get ahead of the Union and delay their arrival.  High Bridge was one of the paths that the Confederate wanted to destroy to keep the Union away.
     On April 6, 1865, High Bridge was captured by a small Union force.  They planned to burn the bridge to keep the Confederates from crossing it.  The Confederates were at a disadvantage since the capture of the bridge separated the Confederate Army on both sides of the Appomattox River.  The Confederate reinforcements cleared the bridge and captured 800 defenders.  The Confederate troops then planned to destroy the bridge to keep the Union off their trail but Union reinforcements were on their way. 
     On April 7, Union reinforcements attacked starting the second battle for the High Bridge.  During this battle the Confederates caught fire to the Wagon Bridge but it was so low that the Union troops dipped canteens into the river to put out the fire.  Next, the Rebels caught several parts of the western end of High Bridge on fire and retreated.  The bridge was never completely destroyed and the Union chased after the Confederate army.  The Union lost 847 men compared to the Confederate's loss of 100 men.

"High Bridge," accessed November 2, 2014, http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/high-bridge.html "High Bridge 1865," accessed November 2, 2014http://highbridgebattlefieldmuseum.com/the_battle_of_high_bridge, "The Battle of High Bridge," accessed November 2, 2014, http://www.civilwar.com/news/recent-postings/149844-the-battle-of-high-bridge-Confederates-last-hope.html