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

    Petersburg

    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.

Curriculum Materials

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  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    Children of the Civil War-The Games They Played

    Children of the Civil War-The Games They Played

    Civil War children had plenty of toys, games, sports, and other activities. Wooden toys abounded, there were toy soldiers, animals, wagons, building blocks, jacks and marbles, and trains. There were balls made of canvas or rags, and the classic cup-and-ball toy, (a small wooden cup with a handle and a ball attached to the cup with a string). The objective was to get the ball into the cup---which may seem easy, but is harder than it sounds.

  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    Picture the War

    Picture the War

    This program introduces students to the analysis of primary sources through critical observation of historical photographs. Students will take photographs of each other and will learn a few basic rules of good photography. Students will role play the parts of Civil War soldiers manning the trenches during the Siege of Petersburg.

  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    Civil War Rations

    Civil War Rations

    This program introduces students to how Civil War Soldiers received their food and how difficult it was to feed more than 3.5 million soldiers. At the end, students will be able to: Explore Civil War diseases, their causes, and treatment. Understand the human body is affected by eating habits and personal hygiene. Compare 19th century food preservation methods to 21st century. Recognize food borne disease is prevalent today and ways to prevent its spread. Correctly multiply and divide.

  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    Portrait of a Soldier

    Portrait of a Soldier

    Taking a tour of the Crater Battlefield and learning about the horror of the this battle, students are given an opportunity to examine and understand a soldier's motivation and willingness to fight. The struggles of the Union soldiers, the Confederate soldiers, and the United States Colored Troops (USCTs) who participated in this battle are brought to life when students are given a letter, a flag, or other props.

  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    A City Under Siege

    A City Under Siege

    This program provides students an orientation to the battlefield through an interactive map activity and a tour of Battery Five, where the initial assault on Petersburg occurred. Students practice their map skills by using a canvas map to view the position of the trench lines around Petersburg and to identify the battle objectives of the Union army.

  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    A Slave, A Plantation, A War

    A Slave, A Plantation, A War

    At the kitchen building, students explore the experiences of slaves who lived and worked on the Eppes' plantation as they tour the kitchen and examine tools that both field and household slaves used on the plantation. At Appomattox Manor, students investigate the experiences of the Eppes' family by touring the Eppes family’s plantation house, and reading diary entries written by Dr. Richard Eppes.

  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    Cannoneers to Your Post

    Cannoneers to Your Post

    This program examines the Battle of Fort Stedman and the role that artillery played in the outcome of the battle. Also known as Lee's Last Offensive, this battle was a pivotal point for the Union army in their defeat of the Confederate army at Petersburg. Students will learn about how fortifications and artillery made it difficult for infantry soldiers to charge the men in the trenches. They will explore how artillery contributed to the Union victory at Fort Stedman.

  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    Beans Bullets and Blankets

    Beans Bullets and Blankets

    Soldiers of both the Union and Confederate armies were “Prisoners of Petersburg” for the nine-and-half month long siege. Soldiers spent their days in the trenches where they fought, slept, ate, and passed the time. This program provides a hands-on approach to army life as it takes students through a day in the life of a soldier. Students dress in soldier uniforms, participate in marching drills, walk through trenches, unpack haversacks, and examine soldier shelters.

  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    Woe to the Wounded

    Woe to the Wounded

    Students examine the hardships soldiers faced when they were sick or wounded during the Civil War by role-playing a battle. Students are assigned the role of a wounded or unwounded soldier, Confederate or Union. Following the battle, students will assist the wounded to the field dressing station for medical attention. Students will learn the difficulty of caring for the wounded soldiers with limited medical supplies.

Did You Know?

Alfred Waud

The only contemporary visual evidence of the Battle of Five Forks was drawn by artist Alfred Waud. (Five Forks is a unit of Petersburg National Battlefield)