Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg by Richard J. Sommers


in Fifth Offensive

RichmondRedeemedTheSiegeAtPetersburgRichardJSommersBook Summary: A few people I know and more than one review have characterized this book as “dry” and “tough to read”. I couldn’t disagree more. I loved this book, which actually only covers Grant’s Fifth Offensive, and which includes the Battles of Poplar Spring Church (Peebles’ Farm), Chaffin’s Bluff (Fort Harrison), and the Darbytown Road, not the entire campaign as the title might indicate. Sommers goes into great tactical and strategic detail, and I could not stop reading this book. The maps are unbelievable, being some of the best I’ve seen and by far the best for a late war set of battles. If you buy only one book on the Campaign, even though it only covers one portion and a middle portion at that, this is the book to get. It was published in 1980, however, and may be very difficult to get. I bought mine used. 670 pp., 22 maps

Hardcover Edition

ISBN: 978-038515626

Publisher: Doubleday

Release Date: 1981

Pages: 670 pages

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert Weston April 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

What are the approximate dates of Richard Sommer’s coverage in this book. I am particularly interested in details of skirmishes from june 15th through 18th 1864. I am trying to locate the 6th NJ Regiment, Company C within Gen David Birney’s 2nd Corps, 3rd Division, 3rd Brigade. My Great grandfather served in this unit and was killed on June 17, 1864. I am open to buying this book or any book with detailed maps of unit positions on the above dates.

bschulte April 20, 2013 at 10:23 am


Richard Sommers’ Richmond Redeemed covers Grant’s Fifth Offensive against Richmond and Petersburg, from late September to early October 1864. You’re looking for information on Grant’s First Offensive, or the Second Battle of Petersburg, from June 15-18, 1864. My bibliography page ( currently contains only one book specifically dedicated to the First Offensive, Thomas Howe’s The Petersburg Campaign: Wasted Valor June 15-18, 1864:

Howe’s book contains maps with units mostly represented down to the brigade level, so I don’t think you’ll see specifically where your ancestor’s regiment and company were. However, you can narrow it down quite a bit.

Also, Ed Bearss’ new book, edited by Bryce Suderow, The Petersburg Campaign Volume 1: The Eastern Front Battles June-August 1864, contains good maps down to the brigade level:

Pardon the excessively long URLs. I’m working slowly to shrink those down considerably.


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