March 18, 1865
General Philip H. Sheridan’s two cavalry divisions arrive at White House, Virginia, and successfully make contact with Grant’s forces investing Richmond and Petersburg.
Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton leaves the Siege of Petersburg early in the morning, returning to Washington, D. C.
The 1st Battalion Maine Sharpshooters under the command of Captain George R. Abbott is assigned to Griffin’s First Division, Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
The 8th Delaware (at battalion strength of only 3 companies) under the command of Captain John N. Richards is assigned to Ayres’ Second Division, Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
General Orders No. 32 makes the “heart” the official corps badge of the 24th Corps, Army of the James.
Colonel Robert M. West, having stretched the Army of the James’ Cavalry Division all the way to Bottom’s Bridge at the Chickahominy River, is ordered to return south and again cross White Oak Swamp. Ord and Grant fear for their safety if they stay north of that natural barrier.
Field Orders No. 15, penned by Philip H. Sheridan, commands an inspection find and remove the nearly 2,000 Blacks who have joined his command during its movement from the Shenandoah Valley to White House, Virginia.
Brigadier General William Nelson Pendleton proposes a new plan to General Robert E. Lee regarding the reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia’s artillery. The goal is still to fully rearm the Second Corps battalions of Nelson, Braxton, and Cutshaw.
General James Longstreet reports to General Lee that the enemy has driven in his pickets along Williamsburg Road east of Richmond. He believes it is to cover the passage of Union cavalry north over the Chickahominy at Bottom’s Bridge. It is in reality an attempt to meet Sheridan’s cavalry coming south from White House by Ord’s Army of the James.
General Longstreet returns to the entrenchments east of Richmond with Pickett’s Division, fresh from tracking General Philip Sheridan’s Union cavalry as it neared the Siege of Petersburg.
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
Mentions of This Date at The Siege of Petersburg Online:
- ITINERARY: 48th North Carolina
- LT: March 18, 1865 Theodore Lyman
- NP: March 31, 1865 The Roman Citizen (Rome, NY): 15th NY Eng Letter, March 18, 1865
- OR XLVI P1 #4: Itineraries of the Army of the Potomac, Sheridan’s Cavalry Command, and the Army of the James, January-April 1865
- OR XLVI P1 #7: Report of Bvt. Lieutenant Col Nathaniel Michler, Acting Chief Engineer, AotP, March 11-18, 1865
- OR XLVI P1 #176: Reports of Bvt. Major Peter S. Michie, Chief Engineer, Army of the James, Feb 4-Mar 18, 1865