Battle of Darbytown (New Market) Road, One Last Advance

Address

New Market and Strath Road
Henrico, VA

Description

The last advance by the Army of Northern Virginia north of the James River took place directly across New Market Road in October 1864, on orders of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Gen. Charles W. Field’s division, with Gen. Robert F. Hoke’s division in support, was to overwhelm Union Gen. August V. Kautz’s cavalry division on Darbytown Road and then turn south to recapture Fort Harrison, which the Federals had occupied on September 29. The battle began successfully at dawn on October 7 as the combined Confederate assault overpowered the Union cavalry stationed on Darbytown Road. Two hours elapsed before the attack could continue, however, giving Union Gen. Alfred H. Terry time to redeploy his division to face the Confederate
attack in the fields just north of here. For unknown reasons, Hoke’s division failed to support Field. Union infantry, armed with Spencer repeating rifles, inflicted heavy casualties on the Confederates. Wooded, difficult terrain caused disorganization among the Confederate brigades. At the height of the fighting, Confederate Gen. John Gregg was shot in the neck
and killed while leading his Texas brigade. The attack soon fell apart, and the remnants of the Confederate force withdrew west to their original defensive lines. Lee’s last advance north of the James River resulted in more than 1,000 Confederate casualties while the Federals suffered fewer than 500.

Map