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

Lincoln In Petersburg

Tears at Fort Mahone

 
 
Lincoln In Petersburg CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 23, 2011
1. Lincoln In Petersburg CWT Marker
Inscription.  (preface)
In March 1865, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant invited President Abraham Lincoln to visit him at City Point for a respite from the capital as the 9˝-month-Iong siege of Petersburg neared its end. Lincoln joined him on March 24. They held meetings, reviewed the army, and toured fortifications. On April 3, the day the Federals occupied Richmond and Petersburg, Lincoln and Grant held their last meeting in Petersburg. Lincoln visited Richmond the next day. He returned to Washington on April 9 as Grant accepted the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army at Appomattox Court House.

On the morning of April 3, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln awoke at City Point to the news that Petersburg had fallen just hours before. He immediately arranged to visit the city and meet with Gen. Ulysses S. Grant that morning. Lincoln and his party, including his son Tad and Adm. David Porter, arrived south of here at Hancock Station on the U.S. Military Railroad at about 10 A.M.

Riding on horseback north along the Jerusalem Plank Road (present-day Crater Road), the group stopped at the abandoned Confederate fortifications

Abraham Lincoln, Pres't U.S. image. Click for full size.
By Alexander Gardner
2. Abraham Lincoln, Pres't U.S.
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-ppmsca-19215]
Click or scan to see
this page online
along the Dimmock Line. Here Lincoln climbed the parapet of Fort Mahone, also called Fort Damnation (on Walnut Hill Elementary School site), one of the strongest points in the lines. The Union IX Corps assault had taken place here the previous day. Many bloated bodies, both Union and Confederate, still lay sprawled about. Among them were members of Union Gen. Charles H.T. Collis’s colorful 114th Pennsylvania Regiment (Zouaves), whom Lincoln had seen on guard duty at City Point earlier in the week. A cavalryman in the escort saw tears streaming down Lincoln’s cheeks. His bodyguard, William Crook, noticed that Lincoln’s face had “settled into its old lines of sadness” over the war’s enormous cost in human lives and suffering. His expression soon brightened, however, when he entered the city to the cheers of Union soldiers and rode to the Thomas Wallace House to see Grant.

(captions)
President Abraham Lincoln, February 1863 Courtesy Library of Congress
Dead Confederates (one barely visible, covered in mud at bottom left), Fort Mahone, April 3, 1865 Courtesy Library of Congress
Confederate Fort Mahone (Fort Damnation), April 3, 1865 - Courtesy Library of Congress
Petersburg and fortifications, 1865 Courtesy Library of Congress
Part of Co. G, 114th Pennsylvania Infantry (Zouaves), Union lines near Petersburg,

Dead Confederate soldier, in trenches of Fort Mahone in front of Petersburg, Va., April 3, 1865 image. Click for full size.
April 3, 1865
3. Dead Confederate soldier, in trenches of Fort Mahone in front of Petersburg, Va., April 3, 1865
Library of Congress [LC-USZC4-1822]
August 1864 Courtesy Library of Congress
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Virginia Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1865.
 
Location. 37° 12.123′ N, 77° 23.066′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Wakefield Street and Goodrich Avenue, on the right when traveling south on Wakefield Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1964 Wakefield Street, Petersburg VA 23805, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pennsylvania Monument (a few steps from this marker); Old Men and Boys of Petersburg (approx. 0.2 miles away); Col. George W. Gowen Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battery 31 (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort Davis (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Davis (approx. 0.8 miles away); Graham Road (approx. 0.9 miles away); Lest We Forget (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Petersburg.
 
Petersburg, Va. Breastworks of the Confederate Fort Mahone ("Fort Damnation") image. Click for full size.
circa April 3, 1865
4. Petersburg, Va. Breastworks of the Confederate Fort Mahone ("Fort Damnation")
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-cwpb-02610]
Sketch of the entrenched lines in the immediate front of Petersburg image. Click for full size.
By Nathaniel Michler
5. Sketch of the entrenched lines in the immediate front of Petersburg
Library of Congress [G3884.P4S5 1865 .M5 CW 609]
Petersburg, Va. Company H, 114th Pennsylvania Infantry (Zouaves) image. Click for full size.
1864
6. Petersburg, Va. Company H, 114th Pennsylvania Infantry (Zouaves)
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-cwpb-03688]
Tears at Fort Mahone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 23, 2011
7. Tears at Fort Mahone Marker
Pennsylvania Monument in front of Fort Mahone (site) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 23, 2011
8. Pennsylvania Monument in front of Fort Mahone (site)
The Thomas Wallace House image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, October 6, 2013
9. The Thomas Wallace House
President Lincoln met with General Grant for the final time at this location.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 23, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,420 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on October 23, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   2. submitted on October 17, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on October 23, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   5. submitted on October 17, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   6, 7, 8. submitted on October 23, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   9. submitted on June 13, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia.

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Sep. 21, 2021