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 March 2015 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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John Horn’s New Site The Petersburg Campaign: Observations on the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia, 1864-1865

July 2, 2015 News and Notes

I was pleasantly surprised to find that John Horn, author of The Petersburg Campaign: June 1864-April 1865, The Siege of Petersburg: The Battles for the Weldon Railroad, August 1864, and The Petersburg Campaign: The Destruction of The Weldon Railroad: Deep Bottom, Globe Tavern, and Reams Station: August 14-25, 1864, has started a new web site […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

LT: June 27, 1864 Samuel J. Bradlee (14th Battery Massachusetts Light Artillery)

July 1, 2015 Bradlee Samuel J.

Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Bill Bradlee, the great grandson of Samuel J. Bradlee, for granting me written permission to publish his ancestor’s letters and other documents.  With the exception of one, these letters are owned by Bill Bradlee and may not be reproduced without his written permission.  All rights reserved.  Mr. Bradlee also […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

Samuel J. Bradlee Pension Claim (14th Battery Massachusetts Light Artillery)

June 30, 2015 Bradlee Samuel J.

Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Bill Bradlee, the great grandson of Samuel J. Bradlee, for granting me written permission to publish his ancestor’s letters and other documents.  With the exception of one, these letters are owned by Bill Bradlee and may not be reproduced without his written permission.  All rights reserved.  Mr. Bradlee also […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

LT: May 23, 1864 Elias S. Peck

June 29, 2015 Peck Elias S.

Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Chris Peck, the great grandson of Elias Peck, for granting me written permission to publish his ancestor’s letter.  This letter is owned by Chris Peck and may not be reproduced without his written permission.  All rights reserved.  Chris is also the transcriber of this article.  I added some […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

BEARSS MAP: The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 18: Chaffin’s Farm Darbytown Road Area

June 28, 2015 The Battle of Fort Harrison

1 *** Download The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 18: Chaffin’s Farm – Darbytown Road Area (Note: Large detailed scans of this battle are not yet available.  Richmond National Battlefield plans to scan them into large files eventually, but for now, these images are as large as it gets.) *** Source:  Ed Bearss Petersburg Troop Movement […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

BEARSS MAP: The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 17: Chaffin’s Farm Darbytown Road Area

June 27, 2015 The Battle of Fort Harrison

1 *** Download The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 17: Chaffin’s Farm – Darbytown Road Area (Note: Large detailed scans of this battle are not yet available.  Richmond National Battlefield plans to scan them into large files eventually, but for now, these images are as large as it gets.) *** Source:  Ed Bearss Petersburg Troop Movement […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

BEARSS MAP: The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 16: September 30, 1864 Field’s Repulse to 3 pm

June 26, 2015 The Battle of Fort Harrison

1 *** Download The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 16: September 30, 1864, Field’s Repulse to 3 pm (Note: Large detailed scans of this battle are not yet available.  Richmond National Battlefield plans to scan them into large files eventually, but for now, these images are as large as it gets.) *** Source:  Ed Bearss Petersburg Troop […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

BEARSS MAP: The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 15: September 30, 1864 Noon to Repulse of Field’s Attack

June 25, 2015 The Battle of Fort Harrison

1 *** Download The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 15: September 30, 1864, Noon to Repulse of Field’s Attack (Note: Large detailed scans of this battle are not yet available.  Richmond National Battlefield plans to scan them into large files eventually, but for now, these images are as large as it gets.) *** Source:  Ed Bearss […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

BEARSS MAP: The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 14: September 30, 1864 Midnight to Noon

June 24, 2015 The Battle of Fort Harrison

1 *** Download The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Map 13: September 30, 1864, Midnight to Noon (Note: Large detailed scans of this battle are not yet available.  Richmond National Battlefield plans to scan them into large files eventually, but for now, these images are as large as it gets.) *** Source:  Ed Bearss Petersburg Troop Movement Map, Manuscript […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

LT: May 7, 1864 Elias S. Peck

June 23, 2015 Peck Elias S.

Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Chris Peck, the great grandson of Elias Peck, for granting me written permission to publish his ancestor’s letter.  This letter is owned by Chris Peck and may not be reproduced without his written permission.  All rights reserved.  Chris is also the transcriber of this article.  I added some […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →