The Battle of the Boydton Plank Road (also known as Burgess Mill or First Hatcher's Run), fought on October 27–28, 1864, followed the successful Battle of Peebles' Farm in the Siege of Petersburg during the American Civil War. It was an attempt by the Union Army to seize the Boydton Plank Road and cut the South Side Railroad, a critical supply line to Petersburg, Virginia.
At the Battle of Peebles' Farm earlier in October, the Union V Corps had seized a portion of the Confederate works around Hatcher's Run. The entire II Corps, under Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, was pulled out of the trenches and moved to operate against the Confederates' Boydton Line. The II Corps was reinforced by divisions from the V Corps, IX Corps, and Brig. Gen. David McM. Gregg's cavalry division already operating in the area.
On October 27, Hancock marched across Hatcher's Run, brushed aside Confederate pickets and moved around the Confederate flank towards Burgess Mill. The division under Brig. Gen. Gershom Mott crossed the Boydton Plank Road and attacked Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton's Confederate cavalry threatening to cut it off from the main Confederate lines. Lt. Gen. A. P. Hill, who commanded the Confederate defenses in the area, reacted quickly to Hancock's threat. However, once his units moved to confront the Federals, Hill, in poor health, proved too sick to continue field command and turned over direction of his corps to Maj. Gen. Henry Heth. Heth put two divisions in Hancock's path, but the Federal commander drove up the Boydton Plank Road and pushed aside the opposing Confederates. At this time both Maj. Gen. George G. Meade and Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant rode out to the battlefield, where Meade immediately noticed a gap between Hancock and the V Corps. With the South Side Railroad still 6 miles (9.7 km) away, Meade realized that continuing the advance would only further isolate the II Corps, and so ordered Hancock to halt. Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Crawfor...