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150 Years Ago Today: Battle of Globe Tavern: August 18, 1864

The Battle of Globe Tavern: August 18, 1864:

Warren’s Fifth Corps Gains a Stranglehold on the Weldon Railroad

Note: Click to see maps of the Battle of Globe Tavern, which should help you follow along with the action.

Brief Summary: While Grant’s Fourth Offensive had started four days earlier, on August 14, 1864, with the Second Deep Bottom Campaign north of the James River aimed against Richmond,  that was only half of the story.  After Lee had weakened his lines around Petersburg to protect the Confederate capital, Grant sent General Gouverneur K. Warren and a reinforced Fifth Corps west to the Weldon Railroad, several miles south of Petersburg at Globe Tavern.  Warren was to gain a foothold on this important Confederate supply line and destroy as much as possible.

On August 18, Warren advanced south from the existing Union lines east of Petersburg down the Jerusalem Plank Road and then turned west, marching past Dr. Gurley’s house to hit the Weldon Railroad near Globe Tavern.  He reached the railroad around 9 a.m. on August 18, 1864, one hundred and fifty years ago today.  While Charles Griffin’s Division began to tear up the Weldon Railroad south of Globe Tavern, Warren sent first Ayres’ Division and then Crawford’s Division, to Ayres’ right, north to guard against any Confederate attempts to break this sortie up.



Battle of Globe Tavern: August 18, 1864

By 2 p.m., Heth’s Division of Hill’s Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia assaulted Warren’s two division line, managing to sneak into a gap on the Weldon Railroad where Ayres on the left joined Crawford on the right.  This Confederate assault drove the Union lines back in the direction of Globe Tavern.  Warren mounted a counterattack of his own with portions of all four of his Fifth Corps divisions, backed by the Corps artillery north of Globe Tavern, which managed to regain most of the lost ground.  He began to dig in as reinforcements arrived overnight for both sides.

The Confederates were desperate to remove Warren from his stranglehold on the Weldon Railroad, and would launch more attacks in an effort to do so.  This was only the first of three days of fighting to come.

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