• 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.

William Smith

Baldy Smith

Born in 1824 in Vermont, William F. Smith graduated from West Point in 1845 and served as a topographical engineer until the war. As a brigadier general he fought in the Peninsula campaign, Antietam and Fredericksburg. It was his criticism of Gen. Butler at this point that cost him his command and a promotion. Sent west, he earned Grant's favor by opening up a supply line to the besieged Union army at Chattanooga. In 1864 he was given command of the XVIII Corps.

Smith was the lead element of the Union strike at Petersburg on June 15, 1864. His failure to vigorously attack the Petersburg defenses was a blunder that again cost him a command. He was placed on special duty in July 1864.

Smith resigned in 1867 and spent a good deal of time arguing his service record until his death in 1903.



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Did You Know?

Red Fox

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.