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Siege of Petersburg Sampler: June 17, 1864

Selected Samples from the Siege of Petersburg Online: June 17, 1864

Item: UPR: Report of Major General Bushrod R. Johnson, C. S. Army, commanding Johnson’s division, of operations June 16-18, 1864

Description: This official report by Bushrod Johnson, not found in the Official Records and passed along to me by Bryce Suderow, is one of the most exciting finds I’ve had while running this site.  Johnson was one of Beauregard’s division commanders at the Second Battle of Petersburg.  Johnson’s report contains a detailed account of the fighting on June 17, 1864, the second day of the Second Battle of Petersburg.


Item:NP: June 20, 1864 Raleigh Confederate: Affairs in the Vicinity of Petersburg, June 15-17

Description: These articles from the Petersburg Register were reprinted in the Raleigh Confederate.  I could’ve used this article for any of the days from June 15-17, but picked this day to highlight an article written from very near the fighting and in quite a bit of detail from the Confederate perspective, something which is fairly rare.


Item:NP: July 14, 1864 Pittston (PA) Gazette: Interesting Letter 2nd Pa Provisional Heavy Artillery

Description: This letter from a veteran in the 2nd Pennsylvania Provisional Heavy Artillery relates the charge made by Ledlie’s First Division of the Ninth Corps on the evening of June 17, 1864, in which the regiment lost 213 officers and men “in the space of some 40 minutes.”


Item: NP: June 30, 1864 New Hampshire Sentinel: Letters from Virginia, 6th NH and 9 NH

Description: This letter from a member of the 6th New Hampshire covers the fighting on June 17th in some detail.


Item: B&L: Four Days of Battle at Petersburg by P.G.T. Beauregard

Description: Who better to talk about the opening assaults at Petersburg than the head of the Confederate defensive effort there in the first days of the Second Battle of Petersburg?  Beauregard witnessed the key events of June 17, 1864 in person and performed brilliantly over these few days, providing his greatest service to the Confederacy of the entire war and more than likely prolonging the war in the east by quite a few months.



Description: I’ve grouped these items from the Papers of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts since they all discuss the events of June 17, 1864 in one way or another.  This is the Union counterpoint to Beauregard’s article above.  Note that fighting was also occurring on a lesser scale on the Bermuda Hundred front to the north of Petersburg, across the Appomattox River.


Item: Ulysses S. Grant’s Utter Failure at the Battle of Petersburg: June 15-18, 1864 by Bryce Suderow

Description: Bryce Suderow provides a modern perspective of how Grant handled the opening assaults.  The title of the piece may give away the conclusion.  🙂

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