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

The Civil War Years

The Banks House

 

—Pamplin Historical Park —

 
The Civil War Years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2008
1. The Civil War Years Marker
Inscription. “Christmas has come and gone. I spent it at Mrs. Banks’ where I had quite a sumptuous repast, finishing up with eggnog, cake, etc. I ate so much sponge cake that whenever you would touch me, it would be just like squeezing an India rubber ball.”
- Lieutenant Edwin I. Kurisheedt, Washington (Louisiana) Artillery, CSA

In the fall of 1864, the Civil War arrived at the Banks property. Confederate soldiers of Brigadier General James H. Lane’s North Carolina brigade established camps near the house in October and began constructing earthwork fortifications about 500 yards south of the house. Other units erected their winter quarters in the area north of the Boydton Plank Road, today’s U.S. Route 1. Margaret Banks entertained Confederate officers from time to time and provided rooms for women who were visiting their husbands, sons, and brothers camped nearby.

Union troops attacked and broke through the Confederate defenses southwest of the Banks House on the morning of April 2, 1865. Brief skirmishing occurred around the structure as the Confederates sought to stem the blue tide, but the Southerners had to fall back to Fort Gregg, about 1,600 yards to the northeast. Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and his staff reached the Banks House about 10:45 a.m., and Grant established his headquarters here. For
Markers in Pamplin Historical Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2008
2. Markers in Pamplin Historical Park
Several markers are found at this location in Pamplin Historical Park near the Banks House. The Civil War Years marker is the leftmost of the markers in the photo.
a brief period, the Union officers came under Confederate artillery fire. Grant probably spent the night in or around the home. The following morning, Grant left to ride into Petersburg, evacuated by General Robert E. Lee and his army, to meet with President Lincoln.

“General Grant dismounted near a farm house which stood on a knoll, from which he could get a good view of the field of operations. He seated himself on the ground at the foot of a tree, and was soon busy receiving dispatches and writing orders to officers conducting the advance. The position was under fire, and as soon as the group of staff officers was seen, the enemy’s guns began paying their respects to the party. This lasted for about a quarter of an hour, and as the fire became hotter and hotter, several of the officers, apprehensive for the general’s safety, urged him to move to some less conspicuous position, but he kept on writing and talking, without the least interruption from the shots falling around him, and apparently not noticing what a target the place was becoming, or paying any heed to the gentle reminders to ‘move on.’ After he had finished his dispatches he got up, took a view of the situation, and as he started toward the other side of the farm house said with a quizzical look at the group around him, ’Well, they do seem to have the range on us,’ …”
- Lt. Colonel
The Banks House image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2008
3. The Banks House
After the Union breakthrough of the Confederate lines of April 2, 1865, this house became the headquarters of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.
Horace Porter, Staff Officer, USA



 
Erected by Pamplin Historical Park.
 
Location. 37° 11.539′ N, 77° 27.942′ W. Marker is near Petersburg, Virginia, in Dinwiddie County. Marker can be reached from Hofheimer Way, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in Pamplin Historical Park. 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. History of the Banks House (a few steps from this marker); After the Breakthrough: April 2, 1865 (a few steps from this marker); The Kitchen Quarter (within shouting distance of this marker); The Banks House (within shouting distance of this marker); A.P. Hill Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Confederate Counterattack (approx. 0.6 miles away); Where Hill Fell (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Breakthrough (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Petersburg.
 
More about this marker. The center of the marker contains a picture of “Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, General-in-Chief of Union Armies.” The picture was taken at during the Siege of Petersburg at Grant’s Headquarters at City Point. The left of the marker features a picture of
Fort Gregg image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2008
4. Fort Gregg
The Confederates who were camped around the Banks House retreated to this position after the Union breakthrough on April 2, 1865.
“Lieutenant Edwin I. Kurisheedt, Adjutant, Washington (Louisiana) Artillery.”
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers in the Banks House section of Pamplin Historical Park.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Banks House. Pamplin Historical Park. (Submitted on September 30, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. The Petersburg Campaign, 1864-5. (Submitted on September 30, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsNotable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Civil
 
Pamplin Historical Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2008
5. Pamplin Historical Park
The markers at the Banks House are located in Pamplin Historical Park.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 30, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 803 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 30, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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