Near Petersburg in Dinwiddie County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Confederate Fort Gregg
– Maj. Gen. Cadmus Wilcox to the defenders of Fort Gregg, April 2, 1865
On the afternoon of April 2, 1865, after a morning of bludgeoning attacks all along the Petersburg lines, 5,000 Federals swept forward to attack Fort Gregg. The 300 Confederates here twice drove the Federals back, but finally the attackers reached the fort’s parapet. For twenty minutes a vicious hand-to-hand battle raged.
At fight’s end, the fort belonged to the Federals. Only 44 Confederates survived the battle unscathed. With the fall of Fort Gregg and nearby Fort Whitworth, the Confederates pulled back to their last, innermost line. The two hours gained by Fort Gregg’s defenders allowed Lee to evacuate Petersburg safely that night.
Erected by Petersburg National Battlefield - National Park Service - Dept. of the Interior.
Location. 37° 11.883′ N, 77° 27.015′ W. Marker is near Petersburg, Virginia, in Dinwiddie County. Marker is on Seventh Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in the middle of the field, east of the parking area. Marker is in this post office area: Petersburg VA 23803, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are Fort Gregg (within shouting distance of this marker); Siege of Petersburg—Grant's Eighth Offensive (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Battle of Fort Whitworth (approx. 0.4 miles away); Rohoic Dam (approx. 0.4 miles away); Confederate Fort Whitworth (approx. 0.7 miles away); Petersburg State Colony for the Negro Insane (approx. 0.9 miles away); Cottage Farm (approx. 0.9 miles away); Battery 45 (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Petersburg.
More about this marker. The marker is dominated by a painting of the Federals storming Fort Gregg. It has a caption of At the climax of the fight, about a dozen Federals leveled their guns at Confederate cannoneer Pvt. Lawrence Berry ‘Drop the lanyard or we’ll shoot,’ they yelled. ‘Shoot and be dammed,’ Berry yelled back as he fired the cannon. He in turn fell in a blast of Union gunfire. Berry is shown in the center of this painting.
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Fort Gregg.
2. Petersburg National Battlefield. National Park Service.
3. The Final Assault. The Civil War Siege of Petersburg.
1. 19 Mississippi Infantry
My great-grandfather, Captain Chesley Shelton Coffey, was commander of company D, 19th Mississippi. I visited Fort Gregg and Battery Whitworth several years ago. Surveying the surrounding area, I found it difficult to believe the intense fighting that took place there in 1865. I came away in awe and almost disbelief. For those who have ancestors who fought with Brig. General Harris' Mississippi Brigade, it is well worth the visit.
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on May 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 5,720 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.