Archive for August, 2012

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Today’s photo was taken from Petersburg National Battlefield in Petersburg, Virginia.

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More Petersburg battle sites

Fort Davis was one of the many forts built by the Union after the failed invasion of Petersburg and occupied during the siege.  The site is now a city park, but doesn’t appear to be maintained either as a park or a historic site.

Fort Hays was built after a battle took place here in June 1864.

The Battle of Hatcher’s Run took place in February 1865 which allowed Grant to extend his line.

This field is where the Battle of Reams Station took place in August 1864.  The Union was destroying a nearby railroad and the Confederates needed it to supply their troops, so they attacked the Union here driving them away.  I think I’ve had enough death and destruction for one day.

 

 


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Petersburg National Battlefield – Western Front

The Western Front battlefield sites at Petersburg are unconnected and part of a driving tour.  The first stop was Fort Wadsworth, which was where the Battle of the Weldon Railroad took place in August 1864 during the Petersburg siege.  The Union held the fort.

The Poplar Grove Cemetery National Cemetery is the second stop and contains war dead from battles at Petersburg and Appomattox.

Fort Fisher was stop #3 and was the largest of the forts built around Petersburg.

The last stop was Fort Gregg.  Fighting took place here as the war came to a conclusion.  On April 2nd 1865, the Union sent 5,000 troops to take the fort.  They were successful but the battle lasted 2 hours, giving Lee enough time withdraw troops away from the city, saving his army – for the moment.

Not far from Fort Gregg is Fort Whitworth.  Whitworth is not part of the driving tour and has been turned into a picnic area.  It also saw fighting that day but was not the main site of the action.

 


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Old Blandford Church and Cemetery

After visiting Petersburg Battlefield – Eastern Front, I stopped at the nearby Blandford Church.  The church was built in 1735 and had been abandoned for several year by the time the siege of Petersburg began.  The church was restored in 1901 and retroffitted with 15 stained glass windows made by Louis Comfort Tiffany.  Each of the 11 Confederate states has their own window with a patron saint pictured along with symbolic imagery.  Kentucky and Maryland also have windows, but they are smaller and don’t have saints.  Kentucky and Maryland both stayed in the Union but maintained slavery throughout.  Delaware did the same but they don’t have a window.  I guess they ran out of window openings.

The church cemetery contains a section dedicated to Confederate Civil War dead.  An organization of women went searching the battlefields after the war was over to bring unburied dead to a final resting place.

 


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Battle of Petersburg – Eastern Front

Today I visited Petersburg National Battlefield in Petersburg, Virginia.  In June 1864, following a defeat near Richmond, General Grant sent his troops to Petersburg.  Petersburg was a main supply hub for the Confederates, so by taking Petersburg, he could cut off supplies to the Confederates and win the war.  Although the Union was unsuccessful in taking Petersburg in June, 1864, they were successful in taking Confederate Battery 5, pictured here.

They also captured Battery 9 and this battery has been restored to look somewhat like a typical battery of the day.

 

On June 30th 1864 the Union detonated a mine underneath the Confederate position killing almost 300 Confederates instantly, however when the bomb went off the Union troops stood around in amazement rather than attacking the enemy.  Long story short, the Confederates still managed to win the battle.

The mine shaft leading to the detonation point.

 


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