• 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: T


Tents (Library of Congress)

Soldiers spent the first six months at Petersburg sleeping in tents or under the stars. Finally, as the days grew colder in November, soldiers in camp constructed winter huts made of trees for greater warmth.



The thumbstall was a buckskin cover for the thumb to protect it from heat while stopping the vent during the loading of the cannon. This prevented air from entering the cannon and perhaps igniting smoldering material that would prematurely ignite the cartridge. The string was tied securely around the wrist!

Tin Cup

Tin Cup

Usually carried on the haversack, where it could be easily used, the tin cup served as a dipper or to the soldiers delight, held a cup of hot coffee. The tin cup was also used as a handy digging tool or scoop, especially in the trenches around Petersburg.



A type of earthwork, trenches were deep ditches where troops sought protection during battle. Trenches were usually long, narrow excavations used for military defense and often having the excavated dirt piled up in front of it. They were used to connect the fortifications around Petersburg.



The enlisted soldier wore straight, cuffless "stove pipe" trousers, fairly full. Creasing was unknown in those days and trousers were pressed round, if pressed at all. U.S. army issue trousers were made of sky blue kersey. The trousers were provided with suspender buttons but suspenders were not always worn. The housewife could be used to mend the tears or lost buttons that came with hard use.

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)