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Battle of Petersburg

The Battle of Petersburg

The term Battle of Petersburg is often used incorrectly to apply to the entire Siege of Petersburg.  There were actually two battles of Petersburg, neither of which should be used to reference the siege at all.

The First Battle of Petersburg: June 9, 1864

The First Battle of Petersburg occurred on June 9, 1864, just prior to what is commonly referred to as the Siege of Petersburg.  This battle is popularly known as “The Battle of Old Men and Young Boys” because members of the Petersburg militia helped stop August V. Kautz’s Union cavalry from breaking through the Dimmock Line south of Petersburg.

The Second Battle of Petersburg: June 15-18, 1864

The Second Battle of Petersburg, often referred to simply as The Battle of Petersburg, occurred from June 15-18, 1864 after Grant’s Northern armies crossed the James River and attempted to attack Petersburg, in essence Richmond’s rear.  P.G.T. Beauregard offered his best service to the Confederacy in those four days, holding off increasingly large numbers of Union troops until Robert E. Lee finally realized the attacks were not a feint and that Ulysses S. Grant’s main effort was focused on Petersburg.

Information on the First Battle of Petersburg at Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online


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