On 7 June 1864, while travelling from Spotsylvania to join the Federalist Army of the Potomac at Petersburg, Sheridan distracted Confederate attention away from Commander in Chief Ulysses S. Grant’s crossing of the James River by raiding, for a second time, the Virginia Central railroad. Thwarted by the Confederate cavalry of Major General Wade Hampton on 11 June, this was the beginning of the bloodiest cavalry battle in the Civil War. Cavalry forces clashed repeatedly north of Trevilian Station, with the Confederates successfully repelling the Union divisions. The battle ended in a tactical victory for the Confederates and Sheridan was forced to retreat under darkness, resuming his journey south. While Sheridan succeeded in distracting the Confederates from Grant’s James River crossing, he incurred casualties of 1,007 compared to Confederate losses of 831. Both sides claimed victory.
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