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

South Side Station

Beginning of the End

 

—Lee vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign —

 
South Side Station - Beginning of the End image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
1. South Side Station - Beginning of the End
Inscription. This original South Side Railroad station, the oldest such building in the state, was built around 1854 when the line was completed from Petersburg westward to Lynchburg, a distance of 123 miles. An express train could run this distance in five hours, including one hour stopping at the various stations along the way. The old City Point Railroad was also purchased at this time, becoming an extension of the South Side.

During the Civil War, many Confederate troops were brought here from distant battlefields and camps, and sent to the numerous Petersburg hospitals. In the final year of the war, the railroad would be the target of at least three Federal cavalry raids, with service being disrupted from time to time while the tracks were repaired.

During the siege, the building was under constant bombardment as a strategic target. Trains were forced to begin stopping out of artillery range at the Fleet Street crossing, a few blocks west near Campbell’s Bridge.

Damage from a 30-pound artillery shell can still be seen in the western freight wing where it crashed into a roof support beam. The beam was later braced to repair it. It was reported that the station was hit two times by artillery projectiles during the siege.

This building served as the post-war offices for the Atlantic, Mississippi
Virginia Civil War Trails markers at Petersburg Visitors Center image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
2. Virginia Civil War Trails markers at Petersburg Visitors Center
& Ohio Railroad under former Confederate Gen. William Mahone. His office was on the upper floor front window of the passenger station. This rail line is now the Norfolk-Southern.

(caption) “The Town of Petersburg” as it was presented to Northerners in The New York Times on June 21, 1864, a week into the campaign. Although it does have some inaccuracies, it is fairly dependable. You are standing in front of the building marked “Lynchburg and City Point Depot.”

(sidebar) South Side Station is the junction of two Virginia Civil War Trails. The Lee’s Retreat driving tour begins here and continues to Appomattox. The 1864 Lee vs Grant trail, which begins west of Fredericksburg, ends here. The station and Petersburg endured a 9½ month siege as the armies struggled for advantage outside the city. For more historical information, tune your radio to 1610 AM.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 14.005′ N, 77° 24.239′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Cockade Alley and River Street, on the right on Cockade Alley. Click for map. 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. A different marker also named South Side Station (here, next to this marker); Old Market Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Petersburg’s Old Towne (within shouting distance of this marker); Petersburg’s Natural Parks (within shouting distance of this marker); Touring Old Towne (within shouting distance of this marker); Petersburg National Battlefield (within shouting distance of this marker); Architectural Heritage (within shouting distance of this marker); City Sights (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Petersburg.
 
More about this marker. Marker is located in the northwest corner of the Petersburg Visitors Center parking lot.
 
Also see . . .  Civil War Trails – Lee vs. Grant: The 1864 Overland Campaign Tour. (Submitted on March 6, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,396 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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