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 29, 1864

October 29, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

October 29, 1864 Skirmish at Johnson’s Farm, the Richmond, VA, Campaign.  10/27-28/1864. 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: October 29, 1864 Theodore Lyman

October 29, 2014 Lyman Theodore

October 29, 1864 Having been seized with a powerful suspicion that the valiant Frenchmen1 would fain squat, to speak in Western phrase, at our Headquarters, I applied my entire mind to shipping them; for, as a travelled man, it was a matter of pride not to be put upon by a brace of such chaps. […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: October 28, 1864

October 28, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

October 28, 1864 The engagement at Boydton Plank Road or Hatcher’s Run, the Richmond, VA, Campaign.  10/27-28/1864. The engagement at Fair Oaks and Darbytown Road, the Richmond, VA, Campaign, as Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, USA, attempts to move on Petersburg, VA, before winter, but to no avail as Maj. Gens. Henry Heth and William […]

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LT: October 28, 1864 Linus Clark (30th United States Colored Troops)

October 28, 2014 Soldier Studies Collection

Editor’s Note: The Soldier Studies web site (http://www.soldierstudies.org) collects and publishes letters written during the Civil War. Owner/editor Chris Wehner was kind enough to grant me written permission to publish a selection of letters from his site which focus on the Siege of Petersburg.  Look for letters to appear here during the 150th anniversary of the Siege of […]

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LT: October 28, 1864 Theodore Lyman

October 28, 2014 Lyman Theodore

October 28, 1864 Where do you think I am? Why, right by my dear chimney! All camped just where we were! I called our movement a grand reconnaissance in force; it would be more fair to call it an “attempt,” whose success depended on the enemy not having certain advantages of position. But they were […]

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150 Years Ago Today: Skirmish in Front of Fort Morton and Fort Sedgwick: October 27, 1864

October 28, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

October 27, 1864: Skirmishes at “Fort Crater” and “The Chimneys” Editor’s Note: I wanted to pull out these skirmishes and highlight them a day after the two major battles of the Sixth Offensive which occurred on the same day.  As a result, this post comes 150 years…and a day, after the events described. On the […]

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MAP: The Attack on “Fort Crater”: October 27, 1864 (Civil War Regiments, Vol. 2, No. 2)

October 28, 2014 Other Siege of Petersburg Maps

1 Source: Assault on Fort Crater: October 27, 1864. Map created by David Woodbury. (Civil War Regiments, Volume 2, No. 2, page 148). For more great detailed studies of Civil War units, check out Civil War Regiments Journal, available from Savas Beatie. This map was used with the express written consent of Ted Savas and […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: October 27, 1864

October 27, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

October 27, 1864 The engagement at Boydton Plank Road or Hatcher’s Run, the Richmond, VA, Campaign.  10/27-28/1864. The engagement at Fair Oaks and Darbytown Road, the Richmond, VA, Campaign, as Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, USA, attempts to move on Petersburg, VA, before winter, but to no avail as Maj. Gens. Henry Heth and William […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

LT: October 27, 1864 Samuel K. Miller

October 27, 2014 Miller Samuel K.

Editor’s Note: Samuel K. Miller of the 211th Pennsylvania wrote 46 letters home during his time in the Union army, almost all of it spent at the Siege of Petersburg in the Ninth Corps.  Miller’s great-grandson Myron M. Miller recently edited these letters in his book The Soul of a Soldier: The True Story of a Mounted Pioneer […]

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150 Years Ago Today: Battle of Fair Oaks and Darbytown Road: October 27, 1864

October 27, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

The Battle of Fair Oaks and Darbytown Road: October 27, 1864: Butler’s Fizzle and More Controversy   Note: Click to see maps of the Battle of Fair Oaks and Darbytown Road, which should help you follow along with the action. Brief Summary: On October 27, 1864, 150 years ago today, the northern half of Grant’s Sixth […]

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