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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NP: July 1, 1864 Geneva (NY) Gazette: A Letter from “Hesperus”

April 15, 2014 July 1864

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin. Correspondence of the Geneva Gazette. ELMIRA, June 28, 1864. SECRETARY STANTON’S despatches during the battles of the Wilderness, and subsequently, were calculated to deceive the people.  It was the privilege of your humble correspondent, in a communication to the “Gazette” of this city, to suggest, that […]

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NP: July 1, 1864 Geneva (NY) Gazette: Rebel Hopes

April 14, 2014 July 1864

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin. REBEL HOPES.—How the action of Gen. Lee, in his change of base, strikes the rebel leaders, is thus told by a correspondent of the [New York] World, writing from the army of the Potomac: “The rebel leaders claim that General Lee’s maneuvers have been successful, in […]

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NP: July 14, 1864 Richmond Examiner: A Word to the Cavalry

April 7, 2014 July 1864

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin. A WORD TO THE CAVALRY.1 SOUTHSIDE, VIRGINIA, July 7th, 1864. TO THE EDITOR OF THE EXAMINER: I do not write in hopes of producing anything new upon the question that is now agitating the public mind and daily press, viz:  “What treatment shall be vouchsafed to […]

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NP: July 14, 1864 Richmond Examiner: Telegraphic Reports, July 12-13

April 6, 2014 July 1864

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin. TELEGRAPHIC REPORTS OF THE PRESS ASSOCIATION. _____________ FROM PETERSBURG.      PETERSBURG, July 13.—A portion of Fitz Lee’s command engaged in a skirmish a part of Gregg’s cavalry division, near Lee’s mill, fourteen miles southeast of Petersburg, yesterday evening, driving them back and capturing thirty-three prisoners, including […]

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NP: June 23, 1864 Raleigh Confederate: Ransom’s Brigade at Second Petersburg

March 31, 2014 June 1864

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Brett Schulte. Interesting Letter from Ransom’s Brigade. Camp Ransom’s Brigade, June 20. Editors Confederate.—Knowing that you take an interest in all soldiers, and especially in North Carolina brigades, I have determined to give you an account of the part taken by Ransom’s brigade in the defence of the […]

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CLARK NC: 1st North Carolina Cavalry at the Siege of Petersburg

March 29, 2014 Clark's North Carolina Regiments

CLARK NC: 1st North Carolina Cavalry 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 […]

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NP: June 23, 1864 Raleigh Confederate: From the Petersburg Express of June 21

March 29, 2014 June 1864

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Brett Schulte. [From the Petersburg Express of Tuesday [June 21, 1864]] NO GENERAL ENGAGEMENT YESTERDAY—HEAVY SKIRMISHING—THE ENEMY CONTINUE TO SHELL THE CITY—OUR TROOPS EAGER FOR THE FRAY. Contrary to public expectation there was not a general engagement yesterday between the two great armies now massed near the corporate […]

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NP: June 23, 1864 Raleigh Confederate: 27th NC Casualties Since June 1

March 28, 2014 June 1864

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Brett Schulte. For the Confederate. LIST OF CASUALTIES In the 27th N. C. Troops, Cooke’s brigade, Heth’s division, army Northern Virginia, Lieut. Col. G. F. Whitfield commanding, since June 1st, 1864. Field and Staff—Killed, none.  Wounded, Lieut Col G F Whitfield severely in head. Co A—Killed, private Wm […]

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NP: August 9, 1905 Anderson (SC) Intelligencer: Recapture of the Crater

March 23, 2014 Postwar Newspapers

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin. WAR STORIES. ____ Recapture of the Crater Again. ____ Atlanta Journal.      Editor Journal:  See some time ago in your valuable columns a request from a lady that some old veteran give his experience in the battle of the Crater, near Petersburg, Va., July 30, 1864.  […]

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CLARK NC: 8th North Carolina at the Siege of Petersburg

March 18, 2014 Clark's North Carolina Regiments

CLARK NC: 8th 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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