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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Petersburg Medals of Honor: Made Good Use of the Enemy’s Weapons

May 2, 2016 Deeds of Valor, Volume 1

MADE GOOD USE OF THE ENEMY’S WEAPONS1 ——- At about ten o’clock on the night of April 1, 1865, Captain G[eorge]. W. Adams, of Battery G, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, was detailed to select a detachment of twenty men from his battery to advance with the Sixth Army Corps in its intended assault on […]

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NP: December 28, 1964 Petersburg Progress-Index: Siege Centennial, Part 35: Christmas At Petersburg, 1864

April 29, 2016 Postwar Newspapers

Christmas At Petersburg, 1864 (The following is the thirty-fifth in a series of articles published in observance of the 1864-65 campaign for Petersburg. Some of these articles have been published on the anniversaries of events, while others deal with developments of importance. Christmas in Petersburg, 1864, is too grim a topic for anniversary treatment, but […]

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NP: January 13, 1865 The Roman Citizen (Rome, NY): 15th NY Eng Letter, January 6, 1865

April 27, 2016 January 1865

SOPO Editor’s Note: Noah Andrew Trudeau found and transcribed several letters for the 15th New York Engineers page at the excellent New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs web site. I did further research and found this and other letters written by “D. C. P.” at the also excellent Old Fulton NY Postcards site. I […]

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Petersburg Medals of Honor: A Hero from the South

April 25, 2016 Deeds of Valor, Volume 1

A HERO FROM THE SOUTH1 ——- With an innate love for justice and the righteousness of the Union cause seventeen-year-old Charles Reeder tore away from his home in a little Virginia village and joined the Union army at the very outbreak of the war. This was the more praise worthy as he had been reared […]

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NP: December 7, 1964 Petersburg Progress-Index: Siege Centennial, Part 34: A Raid Down The Railroad

April 22, 2016 Postwar Newspapers

A Raid Down The Railroad (The following is the thirty-fourth in a series of articles pertaining to the centennial of the 1864-65 campaign for Petersburg. Today—in addition to being the anniversary of a much more recent and momentous event [Pearl Harbor]—is the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of a bitter if minor episode in the […]

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NP: March 26, 1953 Sandy Creek (NY) News: Thomas Moore (96th NY) at the Siege of Petersburg, Part 3

April 20, 2016 Postwar Newspapers

SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.  This series of articles covers the Civil War “Memories” of Private Thomas Moore of the 96th New York.  In an article accompanying this series, I discuss how the clues provided in these articles allowed me to figure out the regiment to which Thomas Moore belonged. MEMORIES […]

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Petersburg Medals of Honor: “They Can’t Drive You Out of Here”

April 18, 2016 Deeds of Valor, Volume 1

“THEY CANT DRIVE YOU OUT OF HERE”1 ——- Early in the day on April 2, 1865, General Hartranft’s Division captured a number of forts around Petersburg. In the afternoon the general detailed Captain Thomas W. Hoffman, of Company A, Two hundred and eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, who was attached to his staff as engineer, to ascertain […]

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NP: November 18, 1964 Petersburg Progress-Index: Siege Centennial, Part 33: Railroad With A Purpose

April 15, 2016 Postwar Newspapers

Railroad With A Purpose (The following is the thirty-third in a series of articles published in observance of the centennial of the 1864-65 campaign for Petersburg.) Because Petersburg had won some fame as a builder of railroads, and because the results accounted for its strategic importance, symbolism was served when General U. S. Grant built […]

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NP: February 26, 1953 Sandy Creek (NY) News: Thomas Moore (96th NY) at the Siege of Petersburg, Part 2

April 13, 2016 Postwar Newspapers

SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.  This series of articles covers the Civil War “Memories” of Private Thomas Moore of the 96th New York.  In an article accompanying this series, I discuss how the clues provided in these articles allowed me to figure out the regiment to which Thomas Moore belonged. MEMORIES […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

Petersburg Medals of Honor: Engineer, Surgeon and Hero

April 11, 2016 Deeds of Valor, Volume 1

ENGINEER, SURGEON AND HERO1 ——- The siege of Petersburg was terminated by the action of April 2, 1865. Lee withdrew on the 3d, leaving Petersburg and Richmond in the possession of the Union generals. This scene is remarkable in the history of the Civil War for the terrible losses suffered by both armies. In this […]

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