Near Petersburg in Dinwiddie County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Campaign for Petersburg
“The charge of Major-Gen. Wright’s veterans under cover of the darkness and mist … will forever live in history as one of the grandest and most sublime actions of the war.”—Sgt. Newton J. Terrill, 14th New Jersey Infantry, USA
“The Army of Northern Virginia got whipped badly. The killed & wounded was large. An awful sad day in the Army & I reckon all over the country.”—Lt. James E. Phillips, 12th Virginia Infantry, CSA
The ground before you witnessed one of the most decisive attacks of the entire Civil War. Early on the morning of April 2 1865, some 14,000 Union soldiers crossed eight hundred yards of open ground and attacked about 2,800 Confederates manning a line of earthworks protecting access to Petersburg. The Federal victory here broke Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s previously impenetrable defenses and, along with other Union gains, prompted Lee to order the evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond.
This breakthrough came after months of effort. In September and October 1864, the Federals made key terrain gains at the Battle of Peebles’ Farm. For six months thereafter, troops in blue and gray occupied opposing picket lines, exchanging shots, coffee, and tobacco. On March 25, 1865, the Battle of Jones Farm set the stage for ultimate Union success.
Gen. Horatio G. Wright commanded the Union Sixth Corps, whose troops made the attacks here on March 25 and April 2, 1865. Courtesy Library of Congress
Confederate Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill commanded the Third Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, which bore responsibility for the Confederate defenses immediately southwest of Petersburg. From Miller's Photographic History of the Civil War
Erected 2015 by Civil War Tust, Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 37° 10.417′ N, 77° 27.3′ W. Marker is near Petersburg, Virginia, in Dinwiddie County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Church Road (Virginia Route 672) and Flank Road, on the Touch for map. 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. The Largest Fort (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Siege of Petersburg—Grant's Fifth Offensive (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Petersburg Battlefields (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Petersburg Battlefields (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Petersburg Battlefields (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort Conahey (approx. half a mile away); A Mysterious Historic Feature (approx. one mile away); “A Great Struggle is Now Impending” (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Petersburg.
Also see . . .
1. Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. (Submitted on October 19, 2015.)
2. Petersburg Breakthrough. Civil War Trust (Submitted on October 19, 2015.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 19, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 294 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 19, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.