We drove the 125 miles to Petersburg Battlefield .For some reason when we were last here in 2012, I failed to have photos or write a blog. Can't figure that one out. John has pics. Must have been in a fog that day. Did not take many this time as it was brutally hot and I only stopped at Visitor Center and few stops on driving tour. Learned the next day on news that parts of the battlefield have recently been vandalized by seekers of artifacts and they heavily damaged area around one of the batteries. Guess there is a huge market on ebay for relics. In my opinion, all relics should be protected and donated to museums by the park service. Some abusers of property have no regard for the importance of the history and respect for lives lost in the battle. Sure hope they find the vandals and prosecute to the fullest.
Robert E Lee commanded the Eastern Front of the battleground and Ulysses Grant the Western Front. Grant felt that the key to taking Richmond is Petersburg in order to cut off the five rail lines and supply lines to Richmond for Lee's army. The siege began in June of 1864 and lasted until April 1865 (292 days). Lee realizing that defeat was near, evacuated Petersburg. Seven days later he surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House.
The full tour takes you from the Eastern FrontVisitor Center 33 miles including sites within the Eastern and Western Fronts, Grant's Headquarters at City Point, Five Forks Battlefield and the Home Front in Old Town Petersburg. We have done part of this tour before including City Point and Grant's Headquarters. If interested, refer to my blog archives for April 2012.
|Cannons on Display|
|Confederate Battery 5|
|Confederate Battery 9 Black Troops Captured thison 1st day of fighting|
|Fort Stedman Battery|
|Final Effort Signage|
The battles and siege of Petersburg involved more than 180,000 soldiers and produced over 70,000 casualties. Best estimates are that Union suffered 42,000 casualties and Confederates 28,000.
I have not gotten into the logistics of the 292 days of battles as it is very complicated for a non military person to describe. There is so much written that for those interested, go to the internet.