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


    National Battlefield Virginia

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Pictionary: A


U. S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Abatis were trees cut to point in the direction of the enemy, with the tips of the trees sharpened into spikes. One or more lines of closely packed abatis could make a tricky and treacherous obstacle. The abatis in front of the fortifications surrounding Petersburg in 1864 represented an intimidating sight for soldiers before they attacked.

Ammunition Chest

Ammunition Chest

Ammunition for the artillery piece was carried inside this chest which was carried on the limber. The amount of artillery rounds carried inside of the chest would depend on the type of cannon the soldiers were firing. It also held the implements used to fire the gun, like friction primers, a priming wire, and other small items.


An army is composed of three Corps.
A Corps is composed of three Divisions.
A Division is composed of three Brigades.
A Brigade is composed of three Regiments.
A Regiment is composed of ten companies.
A Company is composed of one hundred soldiers.
A soldier is the smallest unit of an army.


Artillery Crew
Library of Congress

Big guns (cannons and mortars) used in the Civil War to support the infantry and defend fixed positions. Cannons and mortars were used throughout the siege of Petersburg to support foot soldiers.

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)