When the armies finally reached Petersburg at the end of the Overland Campaign in mid-June 1864, the struggle for control of the city and its crucial rail line began and lasted for another ten months. Engagements on June 18 devastated the 1st Maine Artillery from Bangor, Maine. In the coming months, units comprised of Native Americans and USCTs would also play important roles in the fighting. As part of the National Park Service's nationwide Reverberations program on May 24, 2014, Petersburg National Battlefield and communities across the country will pay tribute to these men and remember their stories. The programs will also be livestreamed.
Watch the programs live! The National Park Service will be livestreaming elements of these programs throughout the evening of May 24.
In these short videos, rangers from Petersburg National Battlefield tell these stories in the places where they occurred.
Park Ranger Emmanuel Dabney explains the Civil War era connection between Petersburg, Virginia and Wilmington, North Carolina. These two commercial cities were critically linked by railroads, providing the lifeblood of the late-war Army of Northern Virginia.
Park Ranger Ann Blumenschine examines the staggering losses of the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery during the initial Federal attacks on Petersburg after Grant moved south from Cold Harbor.
Park Ranger Jimmy Blankenship discusses the role of Anishnabek soldiers from the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters and 37th Wisconsin who fought gallantly in the battle of the Crater, July 30th, 1864.
At Blandford Cemetery, Park Ranger Tracy Chernault recounts the story of the fourteen citizen soldiers who died defending their hometown of Petersburg during the initial approach of Grant's army in June of 1864. The local remembrance of the city's fallen heroes influenced the establishment of a national holiday which became Memorial Day.
Blandford Church and Poplar Grove National Cemetery
Camp Nelson, Kentucky
Wilmington, North Carolina
Last updated: May 24, 2014