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Petersburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Petersburg Defenses
Batteries 35-38
 
Petersburg Defenses CWT Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, March 29, 2009
1. Petersburg Defenses CWT Marker
 
Inscription. You are facing Battery 37 in the 10-mile-long Confederate defensive line constructed between 1862 and 1864 east and south of Petersburg. Named the Dimmock Line for supervising engineer Capt. Charles H. Dimmock, it consisted of trenches linking 55 earthen forts and batteries. Four batteries—35 to 38—still remain here in present-day Lee Park. From east to west, the first is Battery 35, built for 9 guns in Bailey’s Woods on high ground east of present-day Willcox Lake. After the Army of Northern Virginia occupied it in June 1864, it was named Fort Walker for 3rd Corps Chief of Artillery Col. (later Gen.) Reuben L. Walker. Across the lake on the next high ground is Battery 36, sustaining 7 artillery pieces. Beyond it farther west is Battery 37, built “in Capt. Banks’ Field” for 8 guns. It was named Battery Pegram in honor of artillery Col. William R.J. Pegram, who was later mortally wounded in the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865. Battery 38 stands a short distance west.

The batteries faced south toward a U.S. Army position two miles away, out of effective artillery range. The closest fighting to this part of the Confederate line occurred on June 22 (Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road) and August 19, 1864 (Battle of Weldon Railroad). Both times, Gen. William Mahone’s Confederates slipped out of their lines
 
Map of the Dimmock Line in the vicinity of Lee Park. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, March 29, 2009
2. Map of the Dimmock Line in the vicinity of Lee Park.
 
to attack, concealed by the ravine of Willcox Branch, which ran through the defenses. On April 2, 1865, Federal columns assaulted the defenses east of here along the Jerusalem Plank Road (now Crater Road) near Battery 29 (Fort Mahone), and undoubtedly the guns here fired in response before the Confederates evacuated the lines and retreated west.
 
Location. 37° 12.024′ N, 77° 24.519′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Defense Road and Baylors Lane, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. The marker is located in Lee Memorial Park 200 yards south of the entrance on the right side of the park road. Marker is in this post office area: Petersburg VA 23805, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battery 31 (approx. one mile away); Lest We Forget (approx. one mile away); The Peabody-Williams School (approx. 1.2 miles away); Lincoln In Petersburg (approx. 1.3 miles away); Pennsylvania Monument (approx. 1.3 miles away); Battery 45 (approx. 1.4 miles away); Cottage Farm (approx. 1.4 miles away); Graham Road (approx. 1.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Petersburg.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a map of the Dimmock Line extant in Lee Park. Map concept courtesy StudioAmmons. In the center is a photo of "Gen. Reuben L. Walker" Courtesy Library of Congress. On the rigt is a sketch of "Pegram’s wounding, from Christ in Camp (1887)"
 
Petersburg Defenses CWT Marker in Lee Memorial Park. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, March 29, 2009
3. Petersburg Defenses CWT Marker in Lee Memorial Park.
 

 
Also see . . .  Civil War Traveler. Petersburg. (Submitted on April 1, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Earthworks near Fort Walker (Battery 35). Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, March 29, 2009
4. Earthworks near Fort Walker (Battery 35).
 
 
Willcox Lake was formed in 1895 by damming a branch of Lieutenant Run. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, March 29, 2009
5. Willcox Lake was formed in 1895 by damming a branch of Lieutenant Run.
The north-south course of Willcox Branch formed a natural break in the Dimmock Line. Fort Walker (Battery 35) and Battery Pegram (Battery 36) were situated on the heights on either side of the stream valley.
 
 
Earthworks of Battery Pegram (Battery 37). Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, March 29, 2009
6. Earthworks of Battery Pegram (Battery 37).
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on April 1, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,376 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 1, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
 
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