The Siege of Petersburg Online

The Battle of Fort Gregg Petersburg National Battlefield, Virginia "Shoot and Be Damned"

Welcome to The Siege of Petersburg Online, an information compilation site focusing on the Siege of Petersburg during the American Civil War. The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign was, rather than a true siege, a series of nine offensives by the Union forces against the Confederates defending Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. The campaign for Petersburg lasted from June 15, 1864 until April 2, 1865, claiming 50,000 Union soldiers and 32,000 Confederates. The Siege of Petersburg has been criminally neglected in the study of the Civil War, and this site aims to partially rectify that lack of coverage.

Please consider signing up for The Siege of Petersburg Online’s RSS Feed, which will keep you updated on our progress over the years. I say years because the amount of data planned for this site is massive. Check out the Siege of Petersburg Resources link at the top of the page for just a glimpse of what is in store here.

Some of the more complete areas of the site as of January 2014 include:

  • Battle Summaries: Are you interested in a specific battle from the Siege of Petersburg?  Look no further than my battle summary pages.  Each contains a brief description of the battle and gathers together a list of ALL of the posts on this entire site which refer to that specific battle.
  • Units Pages: Explore every regiment, battalion, and battery which participated in the Siege of Petersburg.  These unit pages give you information on a unit, its commanders, how it fit into the army organization over the Nine Offensives, how many men the unit had at a given time, and the types of weapons the unit was using.  Perhaps most importantly, a list of ALL of the posts on this site concerning a given unit appear at the bottom of that unit’s page.  There are a few non-line units and the Confederate Second Corps still to post.  Otherwise all units present at the Siege from June-August 1864 are present and accounted for.
  • Official Records Reports: Every official report from the Siege of Petersburg from the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in the War of the Rebellion, well over 1,000 reports, are included in this section.  Volume XL covers the period from June 12-July 31, 1864, including the Second Battle of Petersburg and the Crater.  Volume XLII covers the period from August 1-December 31, 1864, from the Fourth through the Seventh Offensives.  Battles include Globe Tavern, Second Ream’s Station, Fort Harrison and New Market Heights, Peebles Farm, the Darbytown Road battles, Boydton Plank Road, and Warren’s Stony Creek Raid.  Volume XLVI covers the action from January 1-April 9, 1865.  Battles include Hatcher’s Run, Dinwiddie Court House, Five Forks, the Breakthrough, Fort Gregg, and the Appomattox Campaign.
  • Maps: I’ve been collecting all of the public domain maps I can find about the Siege of Petersburg.  Maps are grouped by Offensive and then by battle.  Sources include the Official Records, the Civil War Trust, Battles and Leaders, and old regimental histories from prior to 1923.
  • Siege of Petersburg Newspaper Articles: I’m amassing new newspaper articles both during and after the war which describe events at the Siege of Petersburg.  The June 1864 section is particularly well represented, but the 150+ articles you see there are just the visible tip of the iceberg.  I have many, many more waiting to be transcribed and posted.  If you are interested in helping me transcribe newspaper articles, Contact me.
  • Southern Historical Society Papers: I’ve only just scratched the surface here too, but the goal is to find, transcribe, and annotate every single article on the Siege of Petersburg from the 52-volume Southern Historical Society Papers.
  • National Tribune: For a Union veteran counterpart to the Southern Historical Society Papers, check out articles from the National Tribune, a postwar Union veterans newspaper filled with first person accounts from the Siege of Petersburg.
  • Letters & Diaries: There are thousands of soldier accounts of the Siege of Petersburg written in their own hand.  I have a very modest but always growing collection of letters and diaries from men who fought at the Siege of Petersburg.  If you know of any others I might be able to use, please Contact me.

For more great information, just left click on the Resources tab at the upper left hand corner of each and every page on the site.

We are always looking for submissions of information pertaining to the Siege of Petersburg. If you are a student of the Petersburg Campaign, please consider contributing as an author here. Use the Contact form at the top of the page if you have information we can use or if you are interested in writing here at The Siege of Petersburg Online.

We Need YOU to Contribute Siege of Petersburg Materials!

Note: If you currently have primary source materials of soldiers who fought in the Siege of Petersburg, we would like to feature those materials at Beyond the Crater.  Don’t be shy!  Many descendants of soldiers who fought around Richmond and Petersburg in 1864-65 have already contributed meaningful materials already published on this site.  Please use the Contact form at the top of the screen to let us know about any materials you would be willing to share.  Proper attribution and copyright protection will always be strictly enforced.  Your materials WILL make The Siege of Petersburg Online a more useful resource for all students of the Civil War.

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: October 1, 1864

October 1, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

October 1, 1864 The Battle of Poplar Spring Church, including combats at Wyatt’s, Peebles’, and Pegram’s Farms, Chappell House, and the Vaughan Road, Richmond, VA, Campaign as Lieut. Gen. A. P. Hill, CSA, beats back the Union offensive.  However, the Union lines are extended which further stretches the already thin Rebel lines. 9/29-10/2/1864 Brig. Gen. […]

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150 Years Ago Today: Battle of Peebles Farm: October 1, 1864

October 1, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

Note: Click to see maps of the Battle of Peebles Farm, which should help you follow along with the action. Brief Summary: The second day of the Battle of Peebles Farm, fought on October 1, 1864, occurred 150 years ago today.  Infantry and cavalry fighting on this rainy day was fiercely contested, but didn’t settle the […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: September 30, 1864

September 30, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

September 30, 1864 The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, as Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, USA, sends the 10th and 18th US Army Corps north of the James River to attack the outer defenses of Richmond directly, including combats at: a) Fort Harrison (captured by Brig. Gen. George Stannard, USA) b) Fort Gilmer (where the Confederates […]

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150 Years Ago Today: Battle of Chaffin’s Farm: September 30, 1864

September 30, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

The Battle of Fort Harrison: September 30, 1864: Lee’s Counterattack is Easily Repulsed Note: Click to see maps of the Battle of New Market Heights and maps of the Battle of Fort Harrison, which together make up the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm. Brief Summary: Robert E. Lee personally commanded a counterattack against Fort Harrison on September […]

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MAP: The Battle of Fort Harrison: September 30, 1864 (Richmond Redeemed, 2nd Ed.)

September 30, 2014 The Battle of Fort Harrison

1 Source: Sommers, Richard J. Richmond Redeemed, 2nd Ed. (Savas Beatie: 2014), p. 139. Used with the written permission of Savas Beatie. This map may not be reproduced without Savas Beatie’s express written consent.  All rights reserved. ↩

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150 Years Ago Today: Battle of Peebles Farm: September 30, 1864

September 30, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

The Battle of Peebles Farm: September 30, 1864 Note: Click to see maps of the Battle of Peebles Farm, which should help you follow along with the action. Brief Summary: As Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James hammered away at the scant Confederate forces from the Department of Richmond and First Corps defending Richmond on September […]

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Zouave Vol. 2, No. 1: Pegram’s Farm by Brian Scherzer or Clay Cooper

September 30, 2014 Zouave

Editor’s Note: The following American Civil War miniatures wargame scenario first appeared in Zouave Magazine Volume 2, Number 1, pages 16-23 and is used with the written permission of Zouave publisher Ivor Janci. All text and images are used with permission and may not be reproduced without the written permission of Mr. Janci. First Battle of Pegram’s Farm, Virginia: […]

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MAP: The Battle of Pegram’s (Peebles) Farm: September 30, 1864, 4:30 P. M.

September 30, 2014 The Battle of Peebles Farm

1 Source: Zouave Volume 2, Number 1, p. 20. Used with the written permission of Zouave publisher Ivor Janci and may not be reproduced without his express written consent. All rights reserved. ↩

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FRASER MAG: A Visit to General Butler and the Army of the James, Part the First

September 30, 2014 Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country

A Visit to General Butler and the Army of the James, Part the First.1 Part The First. TOWARDS the close of last September [1864], an American acquaintance offered the writer a pass to the army and a letter of introduction to General Butler. After some hesitation I determined to accept the General’s hospitality. A short […]

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LT: September 30, 1864 Theodore Lyman

September 30, 2014 Lyman Theodore

Editor’s Note: Theodore Lyman was General George G. Meade’s aide-de-camp from the fall of 1863 through Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.  An intelligent and outspoken individual, Lyman’s letters to his wife provide great insight into the happenings at Meade’s headquarters.  These letters, taken from the now public domain book Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865; Letters of Colonel Theodore […]

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