Presented by Petersburg Battlefields Foundation
Led by author Dr. Phillip Hatfield, this Civil War educational caravan driving tour about the “West Virginia Troops in the Fall of Hatcher’s Run Line” on April 2, 1865. This tour will feature three stops across hallowed grounds preserved by the American Battlefield Trust, the National Park Service, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Water and snacks will be provided during the tour; optional lunch will follow at Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant in Dinwiddie County (pay for your own meal).
This tour will detail the experiences of Captain John Valley Young, commanding Company G, 11th West Virginia Infantry and his troops who played a key role in the April 2, 1865 Union morning assault on Maj. Gen. Henry Heth’s Confederate left flank at Hatcher’s Run. Young’s Company G was in Brev. Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Mahaley’s Brigade (Gibbon’s XXIV Corps, Turner’s Independent Division), comprised of the 10th, 11th and 15th West Virginia Infantry, along with the 123rd Ohio Infantry. Mahaley’s West Virginians and Buckeyes attacked the earthen fortifications known as the “fish hook” occupied by Brig. Gen. Joseph Davis’ Mississippi Brigade, following the VI Corps earlier breakthrough on that fateful morning.
While often overlooked by researchers, a small Confederate remnant put up a stubborn resistance resulting in vicious hand to hand fighting in the trenches. One of Captain Young’s men, Corporal Adam White, a Swiss immigrant, received the Medal of Honor for singlehandedly capturing Davis’ Brigade colors from the color guard. The tour group will also travel to the area where Mahaley’s Brigade engaged in the assaults against Fort Whitworth on the afternoon of April 2, 1865, resulting in the final blow to Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s occupation of the Petersburg lines. You will not want to miss this opportunity!