The Battle of Appomattox Station was fought April 8, 1865, during the Appomattox Campaign of the American Civil War. Maj. Gen. George Armstrong Custer's Union cavalry, en route to Appomattox Station, clashed with the reserve artillery of the Confederate Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, under Colonel Lindsay Walker.
The Union army was ordered to take control of the four supply trains that awaited General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The trains carried medical supplies, ammunition, and food vital to the under-equipped Confederate army. The Confederate soldiers were vastly outnumbered, and fought to repulse the Union attack. Many of the Confederates were artillerymen and engineers who were acting as infantry, and had little hand to hand battle experience. The Union army was far better trained and much better organized, all of which led to the Confederate defeat.
The Confederates failed to hold the oncoming Army of the Potomac back, and as a result, Custer's division captured a supply train and twenty-five guns, driving off and scattering the Confederate defenders. This unique action pitted artillery without infantry support against cavalry. Custer then proceeded to burn three of the captured trains.
In late 1864, Gen. William T. Sherman's army began a march with an unknown destination, laying waste to about 20% of the farms in Georgia in his "March to the Sea". Lee's army, thinned by desertion and casualties, was now much smaller than Grant's. Union forces won a decisive victory at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865, forcing Lee to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond. The Confederate capital fell to the Union XXV Corps, composed of black troops.
On the afternoon of April 8, 1865, four supply trains awaited Lee's army at Appomattox Station. The news reached Federal Maj. Gen. George A. Custer and he then pushed his division forward with the 2nd New York Cavalry in the lead. The trains were loaded with supplies—clot...