The Siege of Petersburg Online

 

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.

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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 July 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 Ed Bearss NPS Troop Movement Maps, 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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What are your Top 10 Gettysburg Books? See what a panel of bloggers said recently.

NP: September 3, 1864 Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph: 23rd MA at the Siege of Petersburg, Late August 1864

August 14, 2018 September 1864

LETTER FROM THE 23D MASS[ACHUSETTS]. REG’T.   Co. C, 23d Mass[achusetts]. BERMUDA HUNDRED, Va., Aug. 26, 1864. MR EDITOR:—Here we are, back to our old place again, as you will see by the heading of this letter. We [23rd Massachusetts] left the front of Petersburg yesterday morning [August 25, 1864], soon after daylight, and took […]

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NP: July 31, 1864 Sunday Mercury (New York): 57th NY Receives a Boost In Strength, July 1864

August 12, 2018 July 1864

Editor’s Note: This letter to the Sunday Mercury appears here due to Bill Styple’s fantastic book Writing and Fighting the Civil War, which is where I first learned about these amazing soldier letters.  You can purchase a copy of Writing and Fighting the Civil War at Belle Grove Publishing. Fifty-seventh Regiment, N. Y. V. [Special […]

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Review of Richard Sommers’ Challenges of Command: Vol. 1 at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog

August 11, 2018 Civil War Books

I recently reviewed Richard Sommers’ new book of essays, entitled  Challenges of Command in the Civil War: Generalship, Leadership, and Strategy at Gettysburg, Petersburg, and Beyond: Volume 1: Generals and Generalship, at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog. The book contains quite a few essays with direct discussions of the Siege of Petersburg, including: Success […]

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BTC Notes: History of the 104th Pennsylvania Regiment, From August 22nd, 1861, to September 30th, 1864

August 10, 2018 BTC Notes

Note: The BTC Notes series serves as a way to gather important information about a given source on the Siege of Petersburg like a book, article, essay, map, etc. Subject: History of the 104th Pennsylvania Regiment, From August 22nd, 1861, to September 30th, 1864 by William W. H. Davis Important Points: Note: * Earlier chapters […]

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CLARK NC: 26th North Carolina at the Siege of Petersburg

August 9, 2018 Clark's North Carolina Regiments

CLARK NC: 26th North Carolina at the Siege of Petersburg Editor’s Note: The following excerpt comes from Walter Clark’s five volume Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-’65, published in 1901.  The reference work provides mini regimental histories written mostly by men representing each unit, with gaps filled […]

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104th PA: History of the 104th Pennsylvania Regiment, From August 22nd, 1861, to September 30th, 1864

August 8, 2018 Pennsylvania Regimental Histories

Unit: 104th Pennsylvania Unit Affiliation: Defenses of Bermuda Hundred, Army of the James Title:  History of the 104th Pennsylvania Regiment, From August 22nd, 1861, to September 30th, 1864 Author: Davis, William W. H. BTC’s Take: Despite the title, this book DOES cover the 104th Pennsylvania Battalion and later the reconstituted regiment at the Siege of Petersburg.  […]

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NP: September 3, 1864 Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph: 32nd MA at the Battle of Globe Tavern, August 18-21, 1864

August 7, 2018 September 1864

Editor’s Note: This article was provided by John Hennessy and transcribed by Jackie Martin. LETTER FROM THE 32D MASS REGT. Camp 32d [Massachusetts] Regt. Co. D, Capt. Rich, On the Weldon Railroad, Va. Aug. 22d, 1864. EDITOR.—Your readers will see by the heading of this letter that our regiment [32nd Massachusetts] has made another move, and I […]

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103rd NY: History and Personal Sketches of Company I, 103 N. Y. S. V. 1862-1864

August 5, 2018 New York Regimental Histories

Unit: 103rd New York Unit Affiliation: Ferrero, Defenses of Bermuda Hundred, Army of the James Title:  History and Personal Sketches of Company I, 103 N. Y. S. V. 1862-1864 Author: Kimball, Orville S. BTC’s Take: This book is fairly light on references to the Siege of Petersburg.  The 103rd New York reached the Bermuda Hundred […]

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NP: July 24, 1864 Sunday Mercury (New York): 5th NY Veteran Remains Separated at the Siege of Petersburg

August 5, 2018 July 1864

Editor’s Note: This letter to the Sunday Mercury appears here due to Bill Styple’s fantastic book Writing and Fighting the Civil War, which is where I first learned about these amazing soldier letters.  You can purchase a copy of Writing and Fighting the Civil War at Belle Grove Publishing. Fifth Regiment, N[ew]. Y[ork]. Veteran Vols. […]

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NP: July 24, 1864 Sunday Mercury (New York): 170th NY from Spotsylvania to Jersualem Plank Road

August 4, 2018 July 1864

Editor’s Note: This letter to the Sunday Mercury appears here due to Bill Styple’s fantastic book Writing and Fighting the Civil War, which is where I first learned about these amazing soldier letters.  You can purchase a copy of Writing and Fighting the Civil War at Belle Grove Publishing. One Hundred and Seventieth Regiment, N[ew]. […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →