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 March 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 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: March 29, 1865

March 29, 2015 150 Years Ago Today

March 29, 1865 The Appomattox (Virginia) Campaign, as Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, after conferring with the President, begins the final assault on the Confederate lines at Petersburg, VA. 3/29-4/9/1865. Engagement at Lewis Farm near Gravelly Run, VA, as Gen. Robert E. Lee, CSA, sends Maj. Gens. Fitzhugh Lee and George Pickett, CSA, to repel […]

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150 Years Ago Today: The Battle of Lewis’ Farm (or Quaker Road): March 29, 1865

March 29, 2015 150 Years Ago Today

March 29, 1865: Grant’s Ninth Offensive Begins Note 1: Click here for Maps of the Battle of Lewis Farm (or Quaker Road) which should help you follow along with the action. Note 2: For an excellent first person account of the Battle of Lewis Farm (or Quaker Road), see Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s book, The Passing […]

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LT: March 29, 1865 Robert E. Lee

March 29, 2015 Lee Robert E.

No. 195. HD-QRS: Petersburg 29 Mar ’65 MR President I have rec[eive]d the telegrams of Genl Kirby Smith of the 24th Feby & 8th March, which you did me the honour to cause to be transmitted to me— As regards the first, I fear the physical difficulties mentioned by Genl Smith, of crossing the Mississippi at this time […]

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LT: March 29, 1865 Theodore Lyman

March 29, 2015 Lyman Theodore

March 29, 1865 This has been a day of manoeuvre and not much fighting. To-morrow may see something more serious. It seems like old times to be once more writing on my knee and sitting in a tent without a board floor. I prefer it; there is novelty in seeing a new bit of country. Yesterday […]

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MAP: Battle of Lewis Farm or Quaker Road: March 29, 1865 (Bearss Base)

March 29, 2015 The Battle of Quaker Road

1 Source: Portion of base map: Manuscript on file at Petersburg National Battlefield, National Park Service: Ed Bearss Troop Movement Maps, Boydton Plank Road Base Map. Additional Union and Confederate earthworks and troop movements added by Brett Schulte. Unit placement is solely based on an original map found in The Petersburg Campaign, Volume II: The Western Front Battles by Ed […]

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MAP: 9th Offensive Against Petersburg, Union Advance: March 29, 1865

March 29, 2015 The Battle of Quaker Road

1 Source: Portion of base map: Manuscript on file at Petersburg National Battlefield, National Park Service: Ed Bearss Troop Movement Maps, Boydton Plank Road Base Map. Additional Union and Confederate earthworks and troop movements added by Brett Schulte. ↩

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MAP: Map showing the operations of the Army of the Potomac under command of Mag. Gen. George G. Meade from March 29th to April 9th, 1865 (Chamberlain, Passing of the Armies)

March 29, 2015 Appomattox Campaign

1 Source:  Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies an Account of the Final Campaign of the Army of the Potomac. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1915. Map after page 38. Based on the official map. ↩

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MAP: Area of Boydton Plank Road and Hatcher’s Run: March 1865 (Lyman Letters)

March 29, 2015 Ninth Offensive

1 Agassiz, George R. Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865; Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox. Boston: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1922, p. 328 ↩

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150 Years Ago Today at Petersburg: March 28, 1865

March 28, 2015 150 Years Ago Today

March 28, 1865 The final tweaks to Grant’s plan for the Ninth Offensive are made, and final orders are issued for the campaign which would finally take Richmond and Petersburg. Federal expedition from Deep Bottom, VA, with the assistance of transports, ferries, and gunboats, to near Weldon, NC, where the Yankees meet little resistance, and […]

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150 Years Ago Today: Planning Grant’s Ninth Offensive Against Petersburg and Richmond: March 24-28, 1865

March 28, 2015 150 Years Ago Today

Welcome Facebook Civil War buffs!  If you enjoy this article, please “Like” it at the bottom of the page and help me spread the word about this Siege of Petersburg site.  Also, if you like what you see here, check out our PetersburgSiege twitter page, our Facebook Siege of Petersburg Page, and subscribe to this site via email. *** […]

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