March 3, 1865
The occupation of Charlottesville, VA, by the Federal troops under Maj. Gen. Philip Henry Sheridan, USA, who continue to ride toward Petersburg, VA.
President Lincoln, through Secretary of War Stanton, instructs Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant not to meet Robert E. Lee to discuss any subject other than “the capitulation of General Lee’s army or on some minor and purely military matter.”
The 91st New York is loaded on a train from City Point, Virginia, bound for Warren’s Fifth Corps. General Meade orders Warren to place the regiment in Bragg’s old brigade, Third Division, Fifth Corps, to replace the 24th Michigan and other regiments which Bragg took with him to Baltimore, Maryland in February.
Grant and Meade discuss the potential of several night attacks on the Ninth Corps’ front if Lee detaches no less than two more divisions from his army defending Richmond and Petersburg. Both agree this effort should be kept in mind if a flank attack or detachments caused Lee to greatly weaken his center, and Grant prefers to hold Lee’s entire army in his entrenchments until Sherman and Schofield unite and Sheridan reaches Lynchburg, Virginia.
General Grant is given permission to offer payment to Confederate deserters who brought in guns, horses, and other equipment. The goal is to induce even more desertions in Lee’s army.
Fitzhugh Lee is ordered to assemble his cavalry division near Mechanicsville and Gordonsville, north of Richmond.
Note: All “Today In The Petersburg Campaign” blog entries are used with permission from Ronald A. Mosocco’s Chronological Tracking of the American Civil War per the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Order the book HERE.
Copyright © 1993, 1994 by Ronald A. Mosocco