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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.
History & Culture
Upon This Ground
The Key to Richmond
This, the longest siege in American warfare, unfolded in a methodical manner. For nearly every attack the Union made around Petersburg another was made at Richmond and this strained the Confederate's manpower and resources. Through this strategy Grant's army gradually and relentlessly worked to encircle Petersburg and cut Lee's supply lines from the south. For the Confederates it was ten months of hanging on, hoping the people of the North would tire of the war. For soldiers of both armies it was ten months of rifle bullets, artillery, and mortar shells, relieved only by rear-area tedium, drill and more drill, salt pork and corn meal, burned beans and bad coffee.
By October 1864 Grant had cut off the Weldon Railroad and continued west to further tighten the noose around Petersburg. The approach of winter brought a general halt to activities. Still there was the every day skirmishing, sniper fire, and mortar shelling.
In early February 1865 Lee had only 45,000 soldiers to oppose Grant's force of 110,000 men. Grant extended his lines southwesterly to Hatcher's Run and forced Lee to lengthen his own thinly stretched defenses.
By mid-March it was apparent to Lee that Grant's superior force would either get around the Confederate right flank or pierce the line somewhere along it's 37-mile length. Th Southern commanders hoped to break the Union stranglehold on Petersburg by a surprise attack on Grant. This resulted in the Confederate loss at Fort Stedman and would be Lee's last grand offensive of the war.
Did You Know?
Petersburg National Battlefield is home to 23 species of mammals, 22 species of fish, 48 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 129 species of birds including 18 species of birds that are listed as species of Special Concern in Virginia.