“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Petersburg in Prince George County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Prelude to Petersburg

1864 Overland Campaign

Prelude to Petersburg Marker image. Click for full size.
1. Prelude to Petersburg Marker
Inscription. On May 4, 1864, the Federal Army crossed the Rapidan River twenty miles west of Fredericksburg. The next day, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's forces struck the Union army in the Wilderness, opening a month-long campaign of nearly nonstop fighting and staggering casualty totals.

After the Wilderness, Lee attempted to block Union General Ulysses S. Grant's southward drive toward Richmond at Spotsylvania Court House, then along the North Anna River, again at Totopotomoy Creek, and finally at Cold Harbor, just eight miles from Richmond. At Cold Harbor Grant's headlong assaults into Lee's line on June 1 and June 3 failed. Undaunted, he matched his army south to Petersburg and began the long process of cutting Richmond's supply lines.

The fighting in the thick woods west of Fredericksburg produced nearly 30,000 casualties but no clear winner.

Spotsylvania Court House
Grant ignored the indecisive results of the Wilderness and pressed southward. Lee blocked him here and for two weeks close to 200,000 men fought for an advantage.

North Anna River and Totopotomoy Creek
These two engagements forced Grant to continue moving to Lee's right as the Union forces searched for a way to capture Richmond.

Cold Harbor
Major attacks on the
Prelude to Petersburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, July 18, 2015
2. Prelude to Petersburg Marker
Confederate line bring the total number of casualties to around 90,000 men in six weeks of fighting. Grant's failure here turns his attention to Petersburg, ending the "overland" portion of the 1864 campaign.
Erected by Petersburg National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 37° 14.629′ N, 77° 21.387′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia, in Prince George County. Marker is on Siege Road 0.2 miles north of Oaklawn Boulevard (Virginia Route 36), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5001 Siege Road, Prince George VA 23875, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Siege of Petersburg (a few steps from this marker); Stephen Tyng Mather (a few steps from this marker); Battery 5 Trail (a few steps from 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); The Petersburg Campaign (about 300 feet away); Jordon Family Cemetery (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Petersburg.
More about this marker.
Petersburg National Battlefield - Eastern Front Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
January 31, 2015
3. Petersburg National Battlefield - Eastern Front Visitor Center
The Eastern Front visitor center is located a few steps from the "Prelude to Petersburg" marker.
This Orentation marker is a summary of General Ulysses S Grant's Overland Campaign and gives a short description of the campaign's five major battles.
Also see . . .  Petersburg National Battlefield. (Submitted on March 2, 2015.)
Categories. MilitaryWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 17, 2015, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 345 times since then. Last updated on July 21, 2015, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. Photos:   1. submitted on February 17, 2015.   2. submitted on July 19, 2015, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.   3. submitted on February 17, 2015. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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