The battle of High Bridge was one of several actions which occurred on April 6, 1865, during the Appomattox campaign. Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant considered the battle pivotal to bringing about the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox.
Once Gen. Robert E. Lee put the Army of Northern Virginia in motion from Amelia Courthouse towards Farmville in search of way to evade the Union forces after them and supply his beleagured men. The strategic importance of the High Bridge was fatefully placed in the path of both the Confederate and Union armies. As the Confederates vied to reach the bridge to escape capitulation, the Union army under General Ulysses S. Grant sought to cut them off before they could escape.
The High Bridge becomes the focal point for which both armies will converge on path to the conclusion of the war. In a daring and crucial undertaking Union forces of Army of the James were sent ahead to cut off the Confederates from using the bridge. It would be the furthest point the Union army would reach on April 6. The actions of the Union detachment created a diversion which redirected the mounted resources of Gen. Lee's Cavalry from other useful advantages in countering the Union advance.
The mission of High Bridge Battlefield Museum, is to preserve, honor, and teach, the history and memory of the Americans who fought and died here during the final days of the most turbulent struggle of our nation. We hope you enjoy our website, any inquiries and comments are welcome.
High Bridge Battlefield Museum, is a small privately owned museum situated on the April 6th High Bridge Battlefield. Located about two miles south of the High Bridge railroad trestle and High Bridge Trail State Park. The Museum is devoted to preserving the battles history, and honoring the memory of the Union & Confederate soldiers, who fought and perished here in the battle for the High Bridge on April 6, 1865. On April 6, 2005 the Lucas family closed on the ownership of the property for the Museum, the occassion coincidently coincided with the anniversary of the battle and formalities closed in the late afternoon establishing a long sought battle finally won towards preserving the history of this all but forgotten battlefield.
The museum houses a collection of artifacts related to the battle, as well as relics and reproductions of artifacts that would have similarly been used by both Confederate and Union soldiers during the battle. The museum is also dedicated to preserving the memory of equines used during the war. Equines including horses, ponies, mules, and burros used everyday for the farm, transportation, and by the military. Every branch of the military relied heavily on the burden of these animals for cavalry, artillery, and a variety of quartermaster uses. Over 1.5 million estimated equines, perished during the war between the states. The brutal battle of High Bridge was no exception, as many horses became casualties killed and wounded here.
Artifacts include items conveying details of daily life on Chatham Plantation, the home of James and Martha Watson. Including items relating the surrounding antebellum community of Prince Edward County during the war.
Museum & Battlefield Tours
High Bridge Battlefield Museum began as one man's idea. With faith in divine providence and the humility to understand that no man is an island to himself, historic preservation has been made possible. Countless contributions of fellow Americans and community support, shared with the love and support of my family have made this opportunity a reality. It is my charge, as long as I am able, to endeavor to further preserve our American History, and the memory of those who have sacrificed for our country, state, and community.
The members of the Lucas family wish to acknowledge the contributions of all that have supported this effort. There are many of whom we may never be able to thank personally, but to all who have helped make this reality possible, we are extremely grateful.
With Many Kind Regards,
Michael C. Lucas