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150 Years Ago Today: Battle of Globe Tavern: August 19, 1864

The Battle of Globe Tavern: August 19, 1864:

Another Devastating Flank Attack by William Mahone Wrecks Crawford’s Division

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

Brief Summary: After Warren gained a lodgment on the Weldon Railroad on August 18, 1864, the Confederates brought on reinforcements the next day to drive him away in the form of three brigades of William Mahone’s Third Corps Division as well as two brigades of Rooney Lee’s Cavalry Division.  The Union had also brought up reinforcements from John Parke’s Ninth Corps.  Parke had replaced Burnside after the Crater debacle from a few weeks earlier.

"Globe Tavern, near Petersburg, Va - NARA - 526157" by Mathew Brady. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Globe_Tavern,_near_Petersburg,_Va_-_NARA_-_526157.tif#mediaviewer/File:Globe_Tavern,_near_Petersburg,_Va_-_NARA_-_526157.tif

Globe Tavern on the Weldon Railroad. Near Petersburg, Va.

Warren had started digging in around the point where the first fighting had taken place on August 18.  Ayres again held the left and Crawford the right.  Bragg’s Iron Brigade of Cutler’s Division was attempting to act as an extended skirmish line from Crawford’s right to the left of the existing Union entrenchments at Jerusalem Plank Road.

Mahone was placed in command of an ad hoc attack force of three brigades (Weisiger’s Virginians, his own former command from his division, and Colquitt’s and Clingman’s Brigades of Hoke’s Division). As he had done before at Jerusalem Plank Road a few miles east and a few months removed, Mahone used the terrain to overwhelm Bragg’s skirmish line to slip between the right flank of the Fifth Corps and the existing Union Second Corps entrenchments near Jerusalem Plank Road.


Mahone’s Flank Attack Devastates Crawford’s Division: August 19, 1864

The resulting flank attack hit the brigades of Crawford’s Division from the right and rear, and 2,500 Union soldiers were captured in the resulting chaos.  A frontal assault by Heth’s Division on the Union left and center was repulsed, or the disaster could have been worse.  Warren gathered together reinforcements to attempt to restore the situation. White’s and Willcox’s divisions of the Ninth Corps moved north to take Mahone’s flankers in their own left flank and stabilized the line. Part of Griffin’s Fifth Corps division moved north to link the Fifth Corps left with the Ninth Corps attack on the right.  Warren still held the Weldon Railroad, but he had lost the equivalent of a small division in captured alone in one day.


Parke’s Ninth Corps Saves the Day

Heavy rain would prevent fighting on August 20, but the Confederates were not done attacking what they hoped was a temporary interruption of their Weldon Railroad supply line.  One more attempt would be made on August 21, 1864, and it was a bloody attempt.

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