Tomorrow marks the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Reams Station. The Union Fifth Corps cut the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad on August 18, 1864, and Confederate counteroffensives failed to drive them off the position. While Gouverneur Warren’s men built fortifications along the tracks, Winfield Scott Hancock’s Second Corps marched south to further wreck the rails. The Confederate Third Corps and cavalry struck at Hancock’s exposed men on August 25th. This time they succeeded in pushing the Federals back.
ECW’s Ryan Quint offered a fuller look at the battle during its sesquicentennial and a walk along the American Battlefield Trust preserved battlefield makes it easy to understand why the Second Corps position fell apart. Civil War Trails additionally placed two interpretive waysides at Oak Grove Church relating to the Wilson-Kautz Raid. I hope this map helps future visitors to the site.
A couple things to note. GPS travelers should not plug Reams Station into their devices, that will likely take them to a gas station with that name a few miles to the north. The site does not have a formal address, though the American Battlefield Trust parking lot is just to the west of the intersection of Reams Drive and Halifax Road. Oak Grove United Methodist Church (12715 Acorn Drive, Petersburg, VA 23805) can also be used for orientation. The modern Halifax Road rests on the bed of the historic Petersburg & Weldon Railroad and the modern railroad is about a mile to the east.
The total walking distance is about two-thirds of a mile and it is entirely flat but with little shade. Originally the Trust planned to include waysides on the western leg of the trail. Though these were never installed, visitors should still walk the trail in the intended clockwise loop. Otherwise the first wayside encountered will discuss the aftermath of the battle. Nevertheless it is certainly worth the visit.