The Virginia in the Civil War Message Board

Devin's advance to five forks

Devin’s Advance

On the morning of April 1st Custer’s division occupied the left of sheridan’s line and devin’s division held the right. Merritt ordered devin’s 1st division to the J. Boiseau house and there to form a connection with custer’s division. Devin rode north about 8 o’clock along the dinwiddie court house five forks road with his three brigades. Fitzhugh led the column; Stagg’s Michigan brigade was next; Gibbs followed with the reserve brigade. (Fitzhugh’s testimony for the time)

Devin came to the edge of a wood where some of the enemy were posted. It was a foggy morning and in the dim light the federals were not certain at first who the indistinct figures were. The answer came when the enemy withdrew in the direction of the Five Forks.

After traveling about – miles from dinwiddie court house fitzhugh met the enemy. Confederate cavalry was in some woods north of a stream and the marshy area near it. The confederate defenses were very slight, trees cut down with earth and brush thrown over them. Fitzhugh sent foward his lead regiments, the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Lt. Col. Durland dismounted and charged on foot, driving the rebels across an open field and into another patch of woods. Durland’s testimony p. It took fitzhugh 15 or 20 minutes of fighting to drive the rebels back and the fight cost him some casualties
The column resumed its march without meeting any resistance. There was an hour or hour and a half of marching. About half way between the enemy’s main line and the stream where the division had fought the enemy videttes, devin’s division halted in the woods. It was now 11 a.m. or noon. At this point the division halted and formed a continous line with Custer’s division on the lft and fitzhgugh, stagg and Gibbs from left to right on Devin’s line. (fitzhugh’s testimony)