The South Side Railroad was Grant's primary target in the fighting around Petersburg in the spring of 1865. It represented the last remaining Confederate supply line, critical to Lee's defense of Petersburg and Richmond. Ordered by Lee to "Hold Five Forks at all hazards." General Pickett placed his 10,000 man force across the Five Forks intersection. It was the Confederacy's last hope to hold this line.
In the attack on the first of April, Union cavalry and infantry approached the Forks, overwhelming and forcing Pickett to retreat, thus opening the door for the Federals to capture their last remaining supply line. The battle of Five Forks was the beginning of the end for the Confederate forces.