The Appomattox campaign

After the collapse of the Richmond-Petersburg line the Marine field battalion at Drewry's Bluff joined in the general retreat towards Appomattox on April 2, 1865. As part of the Naval Bde commanded by Cdrejohn R.Tucker, they were assigned to the rearguard of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during the withdrawal. Four days later the Federal army intercepted and cut off the rear of Lee's army, which resulted in the battle of Sayler's Creek. During this action Tucker's brigade was the only Confederate unit that did not break under the first Federal charge. After repulsing the attack the brigade, which numbered only about 350 men, was surrounded by six Federal divisions. Rather than surrender, Tucker counter-attacked and drove into the 37th Massachusetts and 2nd Rhode Island Infantry. According to BrigGen Truman Seymour, commanding the Federal 3rd Div, 6th Corps, "The Confederate Marine Battalion fought with peculiar obstinacy, and our lines, somewhat disordered by crossing the creek, were repulsed in the first onset." A member of Phillip's Georgia Legion, which stood in line of battle just behind Tucker's brigade, later recalled, "Those marines fought like tigers and against odds of at least ten to one." Eventually withdrawing to

Appomattox Campaign

a wooded thicket, Tucker held off several more attacks, but was ultimately talked into surrendering towards the end of the day. However, many of his men, including Marines, escaped to rejoin the Army of Northern Virginia, with which they remained until Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House three days later.

A number of Confederate Marines fought on until the beginning of May 1865. As the senior officer present, Lt David Raney Jr surrendered himself and 24 Marines of Co D as part of the Mobile Squadron, at Nanna Hubba Bluff on the Tombigbee River, about 35 miles upstream from Mobile, on May 5. Lieutenants J.R.Y.Fendall and John L.Rapier surrendered on the same occasion; and at around the same date 19 enlisted men from the same company were captured as part of LtGen Richard Taylor's command at Citronelle, Alabama. The last Confederate Marines to surrender were 14 men of Co D, who were paroled at Meridian, Mississippi, on May 9, 1865.

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