• 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.

  • 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.

Reams Station

ReamsStationPreludeNPSMap[1]

PNB

Prelude

Soon after the Union success at the battle of Weldon Railroad, Gen. Hancock's (USA) II Corps was ordered to move south along that rail line, destroying it as it went. The intent was to stretch even further the distance by which Gen. Lee (CSA) had to move his supplies.

By late August 24 the II Corps had worked its way three miles south of Reams Station. Hancock was informed that Gen. A.P. Hill's (CSA) infantry and Gen. Hampton's (CSA) cavalry were moving out of Petersburg's defenses to meet this threat.

 
ReamsStation25Aug2pmNPSMap[1]

PNB

August 25, 1864
2:00 pm

During the morning Hampton had been driving the Union north, back up the Halifax Road towards Reams Station. Meanwhile, Hill's attacks in the early afternoon had only taken some outlying trenches from the Union.

Around 2:00 pm he launched an attack on the main breastworks which fell apart quickly. Since Hill and Hampton failed to coordinate their attacks and the element of surprise had been lost, Hill determined that a large frontal assault was needed to drive the Union forces off the railroad.

 
ReamsStation25Aug5pmNPSMap[1]

PNB

5:00 pm

It was 5:00 pm before the Confederates are ready for their second assault and it began with a heavy barrage from the artillery.

The II Corps was quickly overrun and the amount of unguarded Union prisoners sent back was so large that the Confederate command momentarily believed, due to the smoke and confusion, that their attack was a failure and that those were their men coming back.

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Did You Know?

Lesser Siren

Hatcher's Run beaver pond in Petersburg's Five Fork's Unit is home to two unusual amphibians. The Amphiuma (Amphiuma means) can grow up to 3.25 feet and live almost 30 years. The Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia) is the most primitive salamander still in existence.