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: July 29, 1864

July 29, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

July 29, 1864 The Union effort at Deep Bottom is abandoned and the Federals retreat across the pontoon bridge on the James, the Richmond (VA) Campaign. 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 […]

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CV: V3N2: Alabamians in the Crater Battle

July 29, 2014 Siege of Petersburg

Editor’s Note: Base transcription is from the CD-ROM version of The Confederate Veteran at Eastern Digital.  Minor corrections were made by Brett Schulte. *** ALABAMIANS IN THE CRATER BATTLE.1 HON. GEORGE CLARK, WACO, TEXAS. —– I have read with much interest and pleasure the article in your January number by Col. Geo. T. Rogers, entitled “The Crater […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: July 28, 1864

July 28, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

July 28, 1864 Action at Four-Mile Creek, VA, the Richmond, VA, Campaign. Maj. Gen. Edward O.C. Ord, USA, is assigned to the command of the 18th US Army Corps, VA. 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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150 Years Ago Today: The Action at Four-Mile Creek: July 28, 1864

July 28, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

One hundred and fifty years ago today, on July 28, 1864,  the Union Navy vessels Agawam and Mendota engaged Confederate land forces across Four-Mile Creek near Deep Bottom on the James River.  As is often the case for these smaller fights, I don’t have a lot of information. I do have, however, a report from […]

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150 Years Ago Today: The First Battle of Deep Bottom, Day 2: July 28, 1864

July 28, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

The First Battle of Deep Bottom: July 28, 1864: Confederate Infantry Attack Repelled by Union Cavalry Repeaters Note: Click to see maps of the First Battle of Deep Bottom, which should help you follow along with the action. Brief Summary: While the first day of the First Battle of Deep Bottom on July 27, 1864 had been […]

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CV: V3N1: The Crater Battle, 30th July, 1864

July 28, 2014 Siege of Petersburg

Editor’s Note: Base transcription is from the CD-ROM version of The Confederate Veteran at Eastern Digital.  Minor corrections were made by Brett Schulte. *** THE CRATER BATTLE, 30th JULY, 1864.1 —–  Col. Geo. T. Rogers [of the 6th Virginia], now of Washington, D. C.: Much has been said and written about that battle. Some bold truths of […]

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LT: July 28, 1864 Robert E. Lee

July 28, 2014 Lee Robert E.

Editor’s Note: Many Confederate records from 1864 were lost during Lee’s retreat from Richmond and Petersburg.  As a result, many useful primary sources from the Confederate side are simply never going to be available.  What might be less well known is that not all of Robert E. Lee’s known writings from the time of the […]

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: July 27, 1864

July 27, 2014 150 Years Ago Today

July 27, 1864 Demonstration on the north bank of the James River and engagement at Deep Bottom (or Darbytown, Strawberry Plains, and New Market Road), VA, by Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, USA, the Richmond, VA, Campaign. 7/27-29/1864. Skirmish near Lee’s Mill, the Richmond, VA, Campaign. Note: All “Today In The Petersburg Campaign” blog entries […]

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LT: July 28, 1864 Thomas M. Wade (1st Rockbridge VA Artillery)

July 27, 2014 Soldier Studies Collection

Editor’s Note: The Soldier Studies web site (http://www.soldierstudies.org) collects and published 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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CENTURY V35 N03: Gen. Robert B. Potter and the Assault at the Petersburg Crater by Henry C. Potter

July 27, 2014 Siege of Petersburg

General Robert B. Potter and the Assault at the Petersburg Crater.1 IN THE CENTURY magazine for September (page 764), in an account of the Explosion of the Mine at Petersburg [SOPO Editor's Note: I've linked to the Battles and Leaders version which is already published here rather than the Century magazine version, which will not be […]

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