Petersburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Siege of Petersburg
-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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed War, US Civil.
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 Highway 36), on the left when traveling north. Located at the parking lot for the Petersburg National Battlefield Park visitor center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Petersburg VA 23803, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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); The Petersburg Campaign (about 300 feet away); Jordan Family Cemetery (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map 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 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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 21, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,311 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on August 25, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4. submitted on December 22, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.