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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LT: January 31, 1865 Robert E. Lee

January 31, 2015 Lee Robert E.

No. 188. HD-QRS: 31 Jan[uar]y ’65 His Exc[ellenc]y Jefferson Davis Pres[ident]: C[onfederate]. States—Richmond MR President I rec[eive]d from Mr Stephens this ev[enin]g the following dispatch which he desired might be sent to you. “By note of invitation from Genl Grant Messrs Stephens, Hunter & Campbell left for City Point at 5 o’clock this ev[enin]g, to meet at that point gentlemen expected there […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: January 30, 1865

January 30, 2015 150 Years Ago Today

January 30, 1865 Federal scout to Long Bridge and Bottom’s Bridge, VA, the Richmond, VA, Campaign. Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant returns to City Point and the Siege of Petersburg after a brief trip to Fort Fisher. The First Division, Army of West Virginia is being referred to as the Independent Division, 24th Corps as […]

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LT: January 30, 1865 Robert E. Lee

January 30, 2015 Lee Robert E.

No. 186. HD-QRS: 30 Jan[uar]y ’65 MR President In my letter of the 29h Inst: I informed you of the report of the Scouts west of the Valley, relative to the passage of troops over the Bal: & Ohio R.R. from Genl Thomas to Genl Grant. This report is confirmed by Fitz Lees Scouts in the vicinity […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: January 29, 1865

January 29, 2015 150 Years Ago Today

January 29, 1865 Brevet Major General Nelson A. Miles resumes command of First Division, Second Corps, Army of the Potomac after his return from a leave of absence. Artillery skirmish between Union Battery 5 and a Confederate Battery at Goose Neck. Reconnaissance to Riddell’s Shop by the 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Scout to White’s Tavern on […]

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LT: January 29, 1865 Robert E. Lee

January 29, 2015 Lee Robert E.

No. 185. HD-QRS: Petersburg 29 Jan[uar]y ’65 MR President In a dispatch rec[eive]d from Genl Early to-day, he states that Major McDonald comm[andin]g the picket line on Lost river, reports from information rec[eive]d from his Scouts, “that a large portion of Thomas Army is passing over the Bal: & Ohio R.R. to Grant.” I have directed him to ascertain […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: January 28, 1865

January 28, 2015 150 Years Ago Today

January 28, 1865 No major events at the Siege of Petersburg today. Note: All “Today In The Petersburg Campaign” blog entries are used with permission from Ronald A. Mosocco’s Chronological Tracking of the American Civil War per the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Order the book HERE. Copyright © 1993, 1994 by […]

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LT: January 28, 1865 Robert E. Lee

January 28, 2015 Lee Robert E.

No. 184. HDQRS AN Va 28th Jan[uar]y 1865 His Exc[ellenc]y JeffN Davis Presdt C[onfederate] States, Richmond, Mr President I beg leave to repeat the suggestion I made to you in Richmond with reference to the publication of a stringent order requiring all cotton, tobacco & naval stores to be burned to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy.(1) I […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: January 27, 1865

January 27, 2015 150 Years Ago Today

January 27, 1865 The Federals capture and refloat the Confederate torpedo boat, Scorpion, on the James River, below Richmond, VA. Major General Gouverneur Warren returns to the Siege of Petersburg and his command of Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac. Brevet Major General Samuel W. Crawford gives up temporary command of Fifth Corps, Army of […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: January 26, 1865

January 26, 2015 150 Years Ago Today

January 26, 1865 Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant leaves his City Point Headquarters at the Siege of Petersburg to sail down to the Cape Fear River via Hampton Roads. Note: All “Today In The Petersburg Campaign” blog entries are used with permission from Ronald A. Mosocco’s Chronological Tracking of the American Civil War per the […]

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LT: January 26, 1865 Samuel K. Miller

January 26, 2015 Miller Samuel K.

January 26, 1865 Headquarters 9th Army Corps [Virginia] #25 Dearest, This is Thursday morning [January 26, 1864] about 3 o’clock. The shanty got cold. I thought I would get up and put on a fire. I sat a while and warmed my shins and toasted two slices of bread and ate them with honey on […]

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