Petersburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
First Battle of Petersburg
Kautz’s Eﬀort Stopped Here
—Lee vs. Grant – The 1864 Campaign —
On June 9, 1864, Gen. August V. Kautz led 13,000 Union cavalrymen here with orders to capture and burn the city. Petersburg’s Home Guard, 125 old men and young boys, held them off for two hours but finally retreated. The road to Petersburg lay open.
From Bermuda Hundred, 10 miles northeast on the James River, Confederate Gen. James Dearing rushed cavalry and a battery of artillery commanded by Petersburg resident Edward Graham through the city’s streets. Dearing, having formerly served with the famed New Orleans’ Washington Artillery, placed Graham’s guns on the hills on either side of the road and skillfully directed their fire, halting Kautz’s attack. Dearing then led a cavalry charge that drove the Federals away, saving the city for the Confederates that day.
A native of Campbell County, Va., Dearing attended the U.S. Military Academy, resigning to offer his services to his state and the Confederacy. Struck
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 37° 13.085′ N, 77° 23.597′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Graham Road and West Roy Smith Drive, on the right when traveling west on Graham Road. Click for map. Marker is on Graham Road, across from the entrance to Cameron Field, at a large pullover. Marker is in this post office area: Petersburg VA 23803, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Petersburg (here, next to this marker); Graham Road (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lest We Forget (approx. half a mile away); Poplar Lawn (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Graham Road (approx. half a mile away); Massachusetts (approx. 0.6 miles away); Earliest Known Public High School for African Americans in Virginia Battle of the Crater - Covered Way (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Petersburg.
More about this marker. The bottom left of the marker contains photographs of Gen. August V. Kautz and Gen. James Dearing. The top center of the marker contains a sketch of the battlefield with the caption “Looking west on New Road (now Graham Road), the route of the June 9, 1864 attack.” A battle map of the June 9, 1864 encounter also appears on the upper right of the marker.
Also see . . .
1. June 9, 1864. The Battle of Old Men and Young Boys. The Siege of Petersburg website. (Submitted on December 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Civil War Trails – Lee vs. Grant: The 1864 Overland Campaign Tour. Virginia Civil War Trails. (Submitted on December 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Notable Events • Notable Places • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,083 times since then and 149 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.