Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
City Point's Rails And Waterways
Tools of War for General Grant
— Four Centuries: City Point, Virginia, 1613 A.D. —
City Point...tells more about how war is conducted than many battlefields. It demonstrates how Union forces used rivers and railroads to deliver the tools of war directly to the troops in the field. – Robert Black, The Harrisburg PA Patriot News
The significance of the City Point logistical operation in the Civil War cannot be overstated. Besides being headquarters for the United States Armies, City Point was the supply base for the Union forces fighting at Petersburg and Richmond. Immediately upon their arrival the 900-member United States Railroad Construction Corps began building the warehouses and wharves needed for supplies and war material needed for the 100,000 soldiers in the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James.
The City Point Railroad, built in 1838, was repaired and eventually extended south and west of Petersburg. City Point once again had a rail link to Petersburg, except it now linked the military supply depot with soldiers on the front lines. In just twenty-two days the army had completed the first stage of the railroad and had the trains operating on a full schedule. At Petersburg,
Railroad depot buildings are the focal point of this A.J. Russell photograph. The circular Sibley tents and smaller wall tents probably were occupied by Construction Corps employees.
Only three days after Grant's arrival and the Union army's initial attack on the Confederate line at Petersburg, the U.S. Military Railroad Construction Corps moved into City Point. The two to three thousand Construction Corps workers were quartered throughout the area. An additional 1,600 carpenters, blacksmiths, and laborers were employed in the quartermaster repair depot. Eight large barracks stood on the north side of Pierre Street, just above the intersection of Pierce and Water Streets.
Railroad cars were brought in from the north to provide rolling stock for the line. The cars, loaded to capacity, operated on a regular schedule carrying supplies to the front siege-lines around Petersburg eight miles away.
Erected 2013 by City of Hopewell, Commonwealth of Virginia.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #18 Ulysses S. Grant series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1838.
Location. 37° Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 617 Brown Ave, Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Peacemaker (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic City Point (within shouting distance of this marker); One Soldier, One Family, One War (within shouting distance of this marker); Porter House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); General Grant's Headquarters (about 300 feet away); Appomattox Manor (about 300 feet away); City Point (about 400 feet away); City Point, Virginia (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hopewell.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Old Marker At This Location also titled "City Point’s Rails And Waterways".
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 155 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.