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Petersburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Siege of Petersburg

 
 
The Siege of Petersburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 22, 2008
1. The Siege of Petersburg Marker
Inscription. "I would not believe before I came here that man was capable of enduring so much."
-Lawrence Bradley, 1st Mass. Heavy Artillery

If Petersburg fell, the Confederate capital at Richmond would fall too. Grant knew it; Lee knew it. And for nine months in 1864 and 1865 Union and Confederate armies waged a brutal campaign here that left the Confederacy on the verge of total defeat.

At Petersburg, the war in Virginia transformed from a whirlwind succession of marches and battles into a methodical struggle of endurance and hardship.

Touring the Battlefield
Petersburg National Battlefield includes four major historic areas. A driving tour links the main park unit, Five Forks Battlefield, and Flank and Defense Roads.

The City Point Unit is located eight miles northeast of the visitor center in the city of Hopewell. You can start your visit in the visitor center, where brochures and additional tour information are available.
 
Erected by Petersburg National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 37° 14.633′ N, 77° 21.383′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia. Marker is on Petersburg Tour Road 0.1 miles north of Oaklawn Boulevard (Virginia
Park Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 22, 2008
2. Park Map
Highway 36), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Located at the parking lot for the Petersburg National Battlefield Park visitor center. 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. Prelude to Petersburg (a few steps from this marker); Stephen Tyng Mather (a few steps from this marker); Battery 5 Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Siege of Petersburg — Grant's First Offensive (within shouting distance of this marker); Uprooted by War (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Artillery at Petersburg (about 300 feet away); Jordon Family Cemetery (about 300 feet away); Confederate Battery 6 (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Petersburg.
 
More about this marker. In the upper portion of the marker is a wartime photo of The prize: Petersburg.

In the center is a map of Petersburg National Battlefield Park showing the locations of the park units.
(1) The main park unit includes sites that span the entire siege, including the Union capture of part of the Dimmock Line in June 1864, the spectacular blast at the "Crater" in July, and Lee's last offensive, at Fort Stedman, in March 1865.

(2) Flank Road and Defense Road
The Siege of Petersburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 22, 2008
3. The Siege of Petersburg Marker
From the parking lot.
link fortifications and battle sites related to the Union's incessant efforts to cut the rail lines leading into Petersburg - efforts that ultimately stretched the Confederate defense lines to their breaking point.

(3) At Five Forks on April 1, 1865 the Union army defeated and scattered one-fifth of Lee's entire force. Petersburg and Richmond fell within two days.

(4) During the siege, City Point was one of the busiest ports in America. From his headquarters there, Ulysses S. Grant directed the movement of Union armies throughout the South.


In the lower section of the marker is a map of the Petersburg area showing that Converging rail lines made Petersburg the southern gateway to Richmond. Beside the map is a wartime photo of the trenches, By the end of the siege more than 100 miles of earthworks marred the landscape around Petersburg. At the bottom of the marker is a timeline of the campaign and siege.
 
Also see . . .  Battle and Siege of Petersburg. National Park Service site. (Submitted on December 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Stephen Tyng Mather image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 22, 2008
4. Stephen Tyng Mather
On the walk to the Visitor Center is this memorial to Stephen Mather. Mather was the first director of the National Park Service. It reads:
July 4, 1867 - Jan. 22, 1930
He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,125 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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