March 21, 1865
Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant recommends that General George Crook be relieved from his command of the Army of West Virginia and sent to City Point, then on to command the Second Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton issues the orders late the same day.
Artillery duel involving a Confederate 8-inch Columbiad versus Union Fort Avery and Fort Morton, as well as Union Battery 15. Confederate mortar and rifle batteries joined in, aiming at Union Fort Meikel, Fort Sedgwick, and Fort Morton. All of these Union forts returned fire with their heavy guns.
Brevet Brigadier General Henry L. Abbot is assigned to command the Artillery Brigade of the Defenses of Bermuda Hundred, Army of the James.
Brigadier General Ranald S. Mackenzie officially arrives and takes command of the Cavalry Division, Army of the James, replacing Brigadier General August V. Kautz.
The 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored) is sent from Washington, D. C. to City Point and the Army of the James, to be reequipped as cavalry.
A scouting party from the Second Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac, was ambushed by guerrillas on the Jerusalem Plank Road, losing 3 men killed and 5 captured.
General Longstreet reports that the First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia has suffered 678 desertions from March 9-18, 1865, inclusive.
General Longstreet instructs General Fitzhugh Lee to resist the advance of any Union troops across the Chickahominy at Bottom’s Bridge.
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:
- LT: March 21, 1865 Robert E. Lee
- LT: March 23, 1865 Robert E. Lee
- 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 #9: Reports of Bvt. Brigadier General Henry L. Abbot, 1st CT HA, commanding Siege Train, Jan 1-Mar 31, 1865