Category Archives: Sieges

The Sounds of Spring

Here in Petersburg, Virginia we are happy to finally once more see the ground after a recent and unusual spell of endless snow and ice. With a cheered spirit I took a look into the archives to search for the … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Sesquicentennial, Sieges | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

No Bluffing the King of Spades: Digging in along Hatcher’s Run

The Army of Northern Virginia had a thirty-seven mile front to defend during the early months of 1865. Its commander wanted to guarantee the earthworks protecting Richmond and Petersburg were up to his standards. “Opinions seem to differ as to … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Leadership--Confederate, Preservation, Sieges | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The Joy and Sadness of Archibald Gracie

Brigadier General Archibald Gracie was an unlikely Confederate general: a New Yorker by birth and pedigree. Gracie’s family was prominent in New York City from the Colonial era on. Gracie received his education at West Point, graduating in 1854. His … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Leadership--Confederate, Sieges | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

“Therefore we prefer bad weather at this time”

In the spirit of the holiday I thought I would highlight a curious item that a soldier in the trenches at Petersburg was thankful for. “We have had some very cold weather, the ground has been frozen hard but now the weather is … Continue reading

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The Anatomy of a Charge

Recently I have been researching various Civil War frontal assaults to help put the decisive April 2, 1865 storming of the Petersburg lines into perspective for my upcoming book Dawn of Victory. I encountered an interesting piece written August 15, 1864, … Continue reading

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Tenting Among the Dead

Many locations throughout Virginia witnessed multiple battles during the four years of civil war. The slope to Marye’s Heights in Fredericksburg that seemed so insurmountable in December of 1862 again felt the tramp of Union attackers the following spring in … Continue reading

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“A Hideous Dream”: The Federal Second Corps at the Second Battle of Ream’s Station

In the wake of the fighting around Globe Tavern, the Federal high command looked to expand on its success. The Weldon Railroad was firmly under the control of Warren’s Fifth Corps, but now George Meade wanted to negate the railroad … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Sesquicentennial, Sieges | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Slow Business at the “Fruit and Oyster House”

Some of the best images of the American Civil War can be found in the long campaign around the city of Petersburg. Teams of photographers swooped over the battlefield to document the story, capturing impressive shots of the massive fortifications and … Continue reading

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A Tasty Legacy

Working as park ranger allows me to intimately experience the battlefield in unique ways. While clearing a section of the main line of Confederate fortifications southwest of Petersburg I stumbled upon a patch of blackberries growing in the trench–the most off-limits … Continue reading

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“Altogether Too Absurd For Serious Consideration”: The Federal Mine at Petersburg

From the Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 21, 1864: Everything at the front was remarkably quiet. There was not even the usual amount of shelling, mortar or picket firing. All along the lines, from our extreme right to the river, for … Continue reading

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