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2024 Folsom Juneteenth - Reimagining History - Black Miners Bar

by National Parks Service website
On the way to Juneteenth, U.S.C.T. from California reportedly participated at Appomattox, yet our authentic story is disparaged, discounted and destroyed for another season for sport.
On the way to Juneteenth, U.S.C.T. from California reportedly participated at Appomattox, yet our authentic story is disparaged, discount...
On March 29, Major General Philip H. Sheridan's cavalry and the V Corps began moving southwest toward the Confederate right flank and the South Side Railroad. On the 1st of April, 21,000 Federal troops smashed the 11,000 man Confederate force under Major General George Pickett at an important road junction known locally as Five Forks. Grant followed up this victory with an all out offensive against Confederate lines on April 2nd.

With his supply lines cut, Lee had no choice but to order Richmond and Petersburg evacuated on the night of April 2-3. Moving by previously determined routes, Confederate columns left the trenches that they had occupied for ten months. Their immediate objective was Amelia Court House where forces from Richmond and Petersburg would concentrate and receive rations sent from Richmond. Once his army was reassembled, Lee planned to march down the line of the Richmond and Danville Railroad with the hope of meeting General Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee coming from North Carolina. Together, the two Confederate armies could establish a defensive line near the Roanoke River, and assume the offensive against Sherman.

The march from Richmond and Petersburg started well enough. Many of the Confederates, including Lee, seemed exhilarated at being in the field once again, but after the first day's march signs of weariness and hunger began to appear. When Lee reached Amelia Court House on April 4, he found, to his dismay, that the rations for his men had not arrived. Although a rapid march was crucial, the hungry men of the Army of Northern Virginia needed supplies. While awaiting the arrival of troops from Richmond, delayed by flood conditions, Lee decided to halt the march and send wagons into the countryside to gather provisions. Local farmers had little to give and the wagons returned practically empty.

The major result of this delay at Amelia was a lost day of marching which allowed the pursuing Federals time to catch up. Amelia proved to be the turning point of the campaign.

Leaving Amelia Court House on April 5, the columns of Lee's army had traveled only a few miles before they found Union cavalry and infantry squarely across their line of march through Jetersville and on toward Danville and Johnston's Army.

Rather than attack the entrenched federal position, Lee changed his plan. He would march his army west, around the Federals, and attempt to supply his troops at Farmville along the route of the South Side Railroad. The retreat of the Army of Northern Virginia was under constant Federal pressure and Lee hoped that he could put the rain swollen Appomattox River between his army and the Federals. Grant realizing the crucial nature of the "High Bridge" near Farmville had dispatched a bridge burning crew with hopes of beating Lee's army to the crossing. On April 6th, Confederate Cavalry under Generals Fitzhugh Lee and Thomas Rosser intercepted the Federal raiding party and in a fierce fight destroyed or captured nearly the whole party. The short but severe fight for High Bridge resulted in the last two combat deaths of general officers during the war.

Union cavalry attacked the Confederate wagon train at Paineville destroying a large number of wagons. Tired from lack of sleep (Lee had ordered night marches to regain the day he lost) and hungry, the men began falling out of the column, or broke ranks searching for food. Mules and horses, also starving, collapsed under their loads.
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