Opening Assaults: The 18th

June 18, 1864

On the night of June 17th, under the cover of darkness, the Confederates fell back to an area approximately 1/2 mile closer to Petersburg and, after midnight, began building a more permanent and formidable line of trenches. These trenches would connect the part of the Dimmock Line they still controlled to the banks of the Appomattox River on the east side of Petersburg.

The pre-dawn maneuver by the Southern soldiers disrupted the Union Army's plans for a morning attack. Much like the previous two days, the Union attack failed again due to poor cohesion among the various Corps.


The Aftermath

From the lowliest of privates to the upper echelon of both armies, it was obvious to all that with the Union's failure on the 15th to take advantage of it initial success, its subsequent poorly-coordinated attacks over the next three days, and the heroic defense put up by Beauregard's forces until Lee arrived, the armies were facing, for them, a new style of fighting - siege warfare.

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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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