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The Petersburg Campaign Volume 1: The Eastern Front Battles June-August 1864

The Petersburg Campaign Volume 1: The Eastern Front Battles June-August 1864The Petersburg Campaign Volume 1: The Eastern Front Battles June-August 1864

by Ed Bearss with Bryce Suderow

BTC’s Take: This is volume 1 of a two part collection of monographs Ed Bearss wrote in the 1960s on various battles of the Siege of Petersburg. Missing battles were filled in ably by longtime Siege of Petersburg student Bryce Suderow. Detailed maps by George Skoch round out the book.

This book and a second upcoming volume are predominantly made up of essays Ed Bearss did for the National Park Service in the (I think?) 1960′s.  Copies of these essays have been in the files of Petersburg National Battlefield for decades, laying unpublished.  In 2003 I was able to obtain copies of all of the essays with the help of Petersburg Campaign author and researcher Bryce Suderow (and a hat tip to Park Ranger Jimmy Blankenship).  Bryce has wanted to publish these items for a long time, and it looks like he has finally succeeded.  The essays are tied together with short introductions and transitions by Bryce, and several “missing” battles were filled in by other authors.  The maps are done by veteran Civil War mapmaker George Skoch.  I’ve had a chance to read a few early versions of chapters and the end result will be one of the best books to ever come out on Petersburg.  Anyone interested in learning more about these nearly forgotten battles will want to get this book and its sister volume.  You’ve all heard of the Battle of the Crater, fought on July 30, 1864.  Besides the Crater, you can also read about some of the following:

  • The Battle of Old Men and Young Boys, fought on June 9, 1864, where Confederate militia, based out of Petersburg, fought for their town against Kautz’ Cavalry Division of the Army of the James.
  • The Second Battle of Petersburg, June 15-18, 1864, when elements of the Army of the Potomac and Army of the James had a golden opportunity to seize Petersburg before the bulk of Lee’s Army of Virginia had ever crossed the Appomattox River.
  • The Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road, June 21-24, 1864, in which both the Union Second Corps and Sixth Corps suffered disastrous repulses on consecutive June days.
  • The Battle of the Weldon Railroad (Globe Tavern), August 18-21, 1864, in which Gouverneur Warren’s Fifth Corps seized and held a point on the Weldon Railroad, one of Lee’s remaining supply lines.

Savas Beatie supplied me with a book excerpt, pages 18-21 of the book, which includes a map by George Skoch and a description of the fighting between Archer’s Virginia Battalion and Kautz’ Cavalry.  Click the link to see a representative section of the book.

Savas also sent along a Publisher’s Note promoting the book and an author interview with Ed Bearss:

We are very pleased to be publishing The Petersburg Campaign: The Eastern Front Battles, June – August 1864, Volume 1, by Edwin C. Bearss, with Bryce A. Suderow (http://www.savasbeatie.com/books/book_page.php?bookVAR=PETERS_CAMP1&bookType=about&authorID1=ECBearss&authorID2=BASuderow&authorID3=empty&authorID4=empty&authorID5=empty), the first in a ground-breaking two-volume compendium. This volume of Bearss’ study of these major battles includes:

• The Attack on Petersburg (June 9, 1864)

• The Attack on Petersburg (June 15-18, 1864)

• The Battle of the Jerusalem Plank Road (June 21 – 24, 1864)

• The Battle of the Crater (July 30, 1864)

• The Battle of the Weldon Railroad (August 18 – 21, 1864)

• The Battle of Reams’ Station (August 25, 1864)

Below, please find Part 1 of an interview with Ed Bearss discussing how the book came about.

We’re also happy to provide an exclusive look at a few unedited pages from Chapter 1, featuring a map as well as the fighting between Kautz and Archer’s Battalion. You can reserve a copy of The Petersburg Campaign, Volume 1 with a bookplate signed by Bearss and Suderow here: http://www.savasbeatie.com/reserve.htm

Book Summary/Review:

BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:

    BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Sources:

      Publisher Info:

      Hardcover Edition

      ISBN: 978-1-611210-90-3

      Publisher: Savas Beatie

      Release Date: September 2012

      Pages: 488 pages

      Maps: 8 maps


      The Siege of Petersburg Online: Beyond the Crater Pages Which Mention This Book:

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