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

    Petersburg

    National Battlefield Virginia

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Cavalry Experience

Cavalryman On Picket 10 miles South of Petersburg Va. Saturday afternoon May 14th 1864 My very Dear Mother & Sister,
We arrived in Petersburg late last night and at daylight this morning were ordered here where we are bivouacked in the woods together with about one thousand other troops. There has been severe fighting north side of Petersburg & the enemy are within five mile of the city. I am quite well. Have had dysentery but am better or well I mean. The first few days of our march was very dusty & the last three has been very wet & it is still raining. We are well fed here & the only trouble is that our horses do not get enough to eat.

Captain A.B. Mulligan, 5th South Carolina Cavalry



Bugle "The men were just going to bed. They were soon aroused by the toot of the Horn and the ammunition that I had (which was short) was distributed, and off we put at the double-quick. Everyone apparently very cold and perfectly willing to meet the enemy, which we expected from the report that came."
General William Stokes, 4th South Carolina Cavalry


Horse "About half of our horses have died from the hard service & want of feed together for nearly a month we have constantly been on the go day & night almost."
Captain A.B. Mulligan, Co. B 5th South Carolina Cavalry




Saddle "The horses were assigned to the men by the company officers. Our saddles were being made in Monroeville, and very naturally the men were taking a lively interest in that part of the work and in watching its progrss, and we began to realize something in regard to the immense amount of material required to fit out a cavalry regiment."
Thomas Croft, Third Ohio Cavalry


Battle of Five Forks "As we neared the Forks our forces also became hotly engaged, and the enemy, made desperate efforts to keep possession of this key of his position. But his gallantry and desperation were soon seen to be futile, and not long after we opened fire on his flank, the brave cavalrymen in his front were swarming over the earthworks in the teeth of his guns, some on horseback, and some on foot."
S.L. Gracey, Sixth Pennslyvania Cavalry

Did You Know?

The Crater in Petersburg

The 4th Division of the Union 9th Corps lost 209 men killed and wounded at the Battle of the Crater. Poplar Grove National Cemetery is the resting spot for 331 United States Colored Troops. Most of these men are unidentified burials from the Crater battlefield. (Petersburg Nat'l Battlefield)