• Poplar Grove National Cemetery Luminary Event (photo courtesy of Joanne Williams)


    National Battlefield Virginia

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  • No Parking Available in the Eastern Front Unit August 2

    Free shuttle service will transport all visitors to and from the Eastern Front Unit on August 2 during 150th Anniv. of the Battle of the Crater events. Shuttles will depart from the Farmer's Market located at 9 Old St. in Old Towne Petersburg.

  • Eastern Front Unit Trails Closed to Horse Traffic on August 2

    Those who would like to ride horses at the park on Aug. 2 are encouraged to use the trails at Five Forks in Dinwiddie County as other trails will be closed to horses that day while the park commemorates the 150th Anniv. of the Battle of the Crater.

Artillery Equipment

Artillery Crew "The gun is the rallying point of the detachment, its point of honor, its flag, its banner. It is that to which the men look, by which they stand, with and for which they fight, by and for which they fall. As long as the gun is theirs, they are unconquered, victorious; when the gun is lost, all is lost."
Robert Stiles, Major of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia

Artillery Trousers "They make a fine appearance in their beautiful uniform, which is made of dark blue material, the coat buttoning straight up the front, fastened by the waist by a belt, with a short skirt below it. The pants and coat are trimmed with red, which is the style for artillery suits, and above all a cap to match, mounted with two brass cannon crossed obliquely."
- Bedford Light Artillery

Kepi "Caps were destined to hold out longer than some other uncomfortable things, but they finally yielded to the demands of comfort and common sense, and a good soft felt hat was worn instead."
Francis McCarthy, Richmond Howitzers

Mortar "...to sit behind a bank of earth and hear one of these old mortars belch, look up and see the shell going up toward the skies until out of sight, knowing that it was going to come down and perhaps burst in the air just above the ground and the instruments of death sent hither and tither over a line of helpless men."
George Harrison Dorman

Shell "Seeing a large shell descending directly toward him, I called to him to look out! When he raised his head, this shell was within five feet of him and grazed his back before entering the ground close behind him. He was severely shocked, and for some days unfit for duty."
Edward A. Moore, Rockbridge Artillery

Cannon "For one hour without cessation or interval the iron storm raged over our heads, the screaming hurtling misiles suggesting that ten thousand devils were holding high carnival in mid air, or forty thousand juvenile hogs had attempted a passage through a fence and stuck."
Lt. J. J. Scroggs, 5th USCT

Spongerammer "At last a little fellow who had been in my Sunday-school class in New Haven recognized me. How he happened to do this is a mystery...I had lost my hat, my hair was close-shingled, skin tanned red brown; I had on only flannel shirt, pants, belt and shoes; shirt front wide open, sleeves rolled up, clothes and skin spattered black with powder water from the sponge--indeed I was, all in all, about as desperate looking a ruffian as could well be found or imagined."
Robert Stiles

Artillery crews used a number of implements to fire cannon. Each of the artillerymen was assigned a position on the cannon, and the implements were assigned according to the position. Illustrated below in order from left to right: gunner's haversack, sponge bucket, friction primer, gunner's pouch, and a lanyard

Gunner's Haversack Sponge Bucket Friction Primer Gunner's Pouch Lanyard

Did You Know?

Richard Eppes, 1890s

Richard Eppes, owner of Appomattox Plantation, which is currently part of the Grant's HQ Unit of Petersburg National Battlefield, noted that it took 8,320 pounds of bacon each year to feed his 127 enslaved people in 1860.