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

    Petersburg

    National Battlefield Virginia

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  • Attn. GPS Users - Advice for Seeking Directions to the Park

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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.

June 15-18 The Opening Assaults

At a place named Cold Harbor, just six miles outside of Richmond, Virginia and north of the James River, General Grant (USA) decided to end his six week effort to take the Confederate capital by frontal assault. Having lost thousands of men in direct attacks on fortified Confederate positions at Cold Harbor, Grant took a new approach.

After sitting in those lines for several days, General Lee's (CSA) forces awoke one morning to find Grant had pulled his 100,000 man army out of their positions and disappeared. Though not overlooked by Lee, Grant had committed to taking Richmond by cutting off its supply base - Petersburg. By boats and a pontoon bridge the Union troops crossed the James River in force and on June 15, 1864, Grant had his lead men poised to take Petersburg. During this time Lee was still not convinced of Grant's main objective and kept most of his army around Richmond. This left General Beauregard (CSA) with a small force to man the walled defenses around the city, the Dimmock Line, in order to fend off the brunt of the Union offensive.

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Did You Know?

Bald Eagles

A pair of bald eagles built a nest above Colquitt's Salient at Petersburg National Battlefield in 2003. The birds hatched the first known eaglets in the park in the spring of 2004. The pair continues to return to the nest year after year to nurture their young.