• 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.

Pictionary: B

Artillery Battery #5


An artillery unit consisting of two or more guns, or an earthen fortification for them. When the Union army attacked the city of Petersburg, a ten mile line of fortifications nearly surrounded the city. Known as the Dimmock Line, this fortification system contained 55 batteries for cannons.



This weapon was usually only used when the moment came for charging. It was a knife fixed to the front end of a musket or rifle. The order to 'Fix Bayonets' had a special significance as the mark of a serious determination to overrun the enemy.

The bayonet had more uses apart from its intended use as a weapon.
They made excellent candle holders.
They were useful skewers for cooking.
Especially here at Petersburg, troops without entrenching tools could use them to loosen the earth when digging. Many soldiers in both the Union and Confederate armies spent time digging earthworks at Petersburg.

Civil War infantryman leathers


The infantry wore a black leather waist belt. To the right end was attached a buckle. Pictured above, the belt of Union soldiers had an oval brass plate, stamped with "US" representing their army. On this waist belt, the soldier carried his percussion cap pouch just to the right of his belt plate, and his bayonet scabbard, on his left hip. Sometimes a soldier would attach his cartridge box to the waist belt instead of carrying it over his shoulder.

Blanket Roll

Blanket Roll

Soldiers from both armies were issued wool blankets. Soldiers on field service could pack their blankets and other provisions in their knapsack. The knapsack would become very heavy on a long march in the hot sun, so infantrymen got rid of their knapsacks and carried their belongings in blanket rolls slung over either the right or left shoulder. The reason for the blanket roll was its relative lightness and greater comfort.



A brigade is a unit of the army. A brigade was an organized military unit that was generally made up of two or more regiments and led by a brigadier general.



The "Jefferson boot" was the dress regulation shoe of foot soldiers. The Jefferson meant a high quarter shoe or in its rougher form a "brogue" or "brogan." The tops were moderately high with from two to five pairs eyelets for laces. Soles were sewn to uppers or fastened by pegs, nails, and occasionally rubber. Imagine wearing brogans like these throughout nine and a half months of fighting at Petersburg!

Did You Know?

Blandford Church and Cemetery, 1865.

Those who died on the battlefields around Petersburg were left where they were originally buried until after the Civil War. From 1866-69 most Union dead were buried at Poplar Grove National Cemetery while thousands of Confederate dead were buried at the historic Blandford Cemetery. (Petersburg NB)