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Today in the Petersburg Campaign: April 3, 1865

April 3, 1865

Action at Namozine Church, the Appomattox Campaign, VA, as Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan and his Union cavalry press the retreating Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

The occupation of Petersburg and Richmond, VA, by the Union forces, as Brig. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel, USA, and the Army of the James formally accepts the city’s surrender, the Richmond, VA, Campaign.

President Abraham Lincoln visits Petersburg, VA, as the majority of the city was spared from being burned by the fleeing Confederates.

Note: All “Today In The Petersburg Campaign” blog entries are used with permission from Ronald A. Mosocco’s Chronological Tracking of the American Civil War per the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Order the book HERE.

Copyright © 1993, 1994 by Ronald A. Mosocco

Mentions of This Date at The Siege of Petersburg Online:

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Tom Ledoux April 3, 2010, 7:42 am

    Colonel, soon to be Bvt. BGen Edward Ripley, 9th Vermont Infantry, claimed his skirmishers were the first into the city of Richmond. Anyone have anything to confirm or refute this?

  • bschulte April 3, 2010, 11:03 am


    I do not, and since this site is relatively new, I’m afraid not too many people will see your comment. I’m going to make a note of this and come back to it in the future. I am almost certain I’ve read several articles about the claims of “first into Richmond” by various units of the Army of the James. If I happen across one or more of these, I’ll write up a short article summarizing the claims. Thanks for commenting! I think yours may be the first “real” (i.e. non-trackback and non-spam) comment BTC has gotten. Hopefully this is the first of many!


  • bschulte April 3, 2010, 11:34 am


    If you want some possible sources, here is a starting point. I’ve pulled a list of books and magazine articles from the USAHEC’s bibliography of the Virginia Campaign in 1865:

    Adams, Silas. “Capture of Richmond, April 3, 1865.” In War Papers (MOLLUS, ME, Vol. 3).
    Portland, ME: Lefavor Tower, 1908. pp. 251 62. E464M5.1991v18.

    Ballard, Michael B. A Long of Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy.
    Jackson, MS: U MS, 1986. 200 p. E477.61B35.

    Bivin, Ken. “The Fall of Richmond: Driving Dixie Down.” America’s CW (May 1995):
    pp. 38-45 & 88. Per.

    Boykin, Edward M. The Falling Flag: Evacuation of Richmond, Retreat and Surrender at Appomattox.
    NY: Hale, 1874. 67 p. E477.67B77.

    Bruce, George P. “The Capture and Occupation of Richmond.” In Papers of the Military Historical
    Society of Massachusetts, Vol. 14. Boston: By the Society, 1918. pp. 199 46. E470M65v14 and E477.61B7.

    Clark, James C. Last Train South: The Flight of the Confederate Government From Richmond.
    Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1984. 164 p. E477.61C53.

    Duke, Basil W. “After the Fall of Richmond.” Southern Bivouac (1886/87): pp. 156 66. Per.

    Hoehling, A.A. & Mary. The Last Days of the Confederacy: An Eyewitness Account of the Fall of
    Richmond, Capital City of the Confederate States. NY: Fairfax Pr, 1986. 270 p. E477.61H73.

    Irvine, Dallas D. “The Fall of Richmond.” Journal of the American Military Institute (Summer 1939):
    pp. 67 79. Per.

    Lankford, Nelson. Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital. NY: Viking, 2002.
    312 p. E477.61L36.

    Patrick, Rembert. The Fall of Richmond. Baton Rouge: LSU, 1960. 144 p. E477.61P3.

    Prescott, Royal B. “The Capture of Richmond.” In Civil War Papers (MOLLUS, MA, Vol. 1). Boston:
    For the Commandery, 1900. pp. 47 74. E464M5.1991v52.

    Ripley, Edward H. The Capture and Occupation of Richmond, April 3, 1865. NY: Putnam’s, 1907.
    31 p. E477.61R5.

    _____. “The Occupation of Richmond.” In Personal Recollections of the War of the Rebellion
    (MOLLUS, NY, Vol. 3). NY: Putnam’s, 1907. pp. 472 502. E464M5.1991v22.

    Ryan, David D. Four Days in 1865: The Fall of Richmond. Richmond, VA: Cadmus Marketing, 1993.
    161 p. E477.61R92.

    Shepley, George F. “Incidents of the Capture of Richmond.” Atlantic Monthly (1880): pp. 18 28. Per.

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