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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NP: March 24, 1865 The Roman Citizen (Rome, NY): 50th NY Eng Letter, March 14, 1865

May 25, 2016 March 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 letter from the 50th New York Engineers in the same newspaper at the also excellent Old Fulton NY Postcards site. I transcribed this […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

Petersburg Medals of Honor: Gallant Vermonters

May 23, 2016 Deeds of Valor, Volume 1

GALLANT VERMONTERS1 ——- The Vermont Brigade, having received orders to attack Petersburg, moved promptly on the morning of April 2d at the given signal. After passing over about half the distance, the advancing column was exposed to a well-directed musketry fire from the front and artillery fire from forts on either side, which completely enfiladed […]

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NP: March 25, 1965 Petersburg Progress-Index: Siege Centennial, Part 38: The Last Grand Offensive

May 20, 2016 Postwar Newspapers

The Last Grand Offensive (Today is the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stedman, which has been called the last grand offensive of the Army of Northern Virginia. The following is the thirty-eighth in a series of articles published here in observance of the centennial of the campaign for Petersburg.) *     *     * The […]

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NP: March 17, 1865 The Roman Citizen (Rome, NY): 15th NY Eng Letter, March 4, 1865

May 18, 2016 March 1865

SOPO Editor’s Note: Noah Andrew Trudeau found and transcribed this letter for the 15th New York Engineers page at the excellent New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs web site. I found the newspapers in question at the also excellent Old Fulton NY Postcards site. Army Correspondence FORT MCKEON, – CITY POINT, Va., March […]

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Petersburg Medals of Honor: Rewarded Twice

May 16, 2016 Deeds of Valor, Volume 1

REWARDED TWICE1 ——- First Lieutenant Thomas W. Custer, of Company B, Sixth Michigan Cavalry, distinguished himself at Namozine Church, April 2d [sic, April 3rd], and at Sailor’s Creek, Va., April 6th, by the capture of a battle-flag at each place. At Sailor’s Creek Lieutenant Custer leaped his horse over the enemy’s line of works and […]

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NP: March 24, 1965 Petersburg Progress-Index: Siege Centennial, Part 37: Toward the Denouement

May 13, 2016 Postwar Newspapers

Toward the Denouement (The following is the thirty-seventh in a series of articles published in observance of the centennial of the 1864-65 campaign for Petersburg. At this stage of the proceedings the end of a long and tragic story was not far away. Grant was making plans and dispositions for an achievement which had been […]

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NP: February 24, 1865 The Roman Citizen (Rome, NY): 15th NY Eng Letter, February 13, 1865

May 11, 2016 February 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 transcribed this and other […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →

Petersburg Medals of Honor: In Full View of the Enemy

May 9, 2016 Deeds of Valor, Volume 1

IN FULL VIEW OF THE ENEMY1 ——- In the latter part of March, 1865, the Second Division of the Twenty-fifth Army Corps, General William Birney commanding, was detached from the Army of the James and moved to the left of the Sixth Army Corps, near Hatcher’s Run, Va., to take part in the final operations […]

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NP: February 5, 1965 Petersburg Progress-Index: Siege Centennial, Part 36: Another Battle, Another Warning

May 6, 2016 Postwar Newspapers

Another Battle, Another Warning (The following is the thirty-sixth in a series of articles published in observance of the centennial of the 1864-65 campaign for Petersburg. A hundred years ago, Grant was attempting to extend his line and reach the South Side Railroad which connected Petersburg with Lynchburg. Although the effort did not accomplish its […]

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NP: January 27, 1865 The Roman Citizen (Rome, NY): 15th NY Eng Letter, January 19, 1865

May 4, 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 transcribed this and other […]

Read the full Siege of Petersburg article →