Tag Archives: Breakthrough at Petersburg

Another Courier’s Perspective: William Henry Jenkins and the Death of A.P. Hill

Earlier this week I shared some new information discovered about William Bennett Kirkpatrick, a previously unidentified courier who relayed A.P. Hill’s last message to his Third Corps headquarters on April 2, 1865. Within the hour, Corporal John Watson Mauk shot … Continue reading

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Identifying “Courier Kirkpatrick” on A.P. Hill’s Last Ride

Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill was killed in the aftermath of the successful Union attack near Petersburg on the morning of April 2, 1865. Sergeant George Washington Tucker, Jr., the general’s chief of couriers, was the only Confederate present at … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Newspapers, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mapping the Attack on Fort Mahone, April 2, 1865

The VI Corps assault on the morning of April 2, 1865 unraveled the Confederate earthworks in Dinwiddie County and forced Robert E. Lee to issue orders to evacuate the lines around Petersburg and Richmond. Their dawn attack that I frequently … Continue reading

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A Look Back at Petersburg’s Breakthrough

April 2 marked the anniversary of the Union breakthrough at Petersburg, paving the way for the collapse of the entire Confederate line and the retreat to Appomattox. As it happens, we have one of the foremost authorities on the Breakthrough … Continue reading

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ECW on C-SPAN: Edward Alexander

The final segment from the Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge will air this weekend on C-SPAN 3. As part of our theme of “Great Attacks,” Edward Alexander looked at the Union Breakthrough at Petersburg–what Edward has … Continue reading

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Noah Trudeau Explains Lincoln’s Greatest Journey

Recently I chatted with award-winning author Noah Andre Trudeau, who has written several well-regarded books on the Civil War in 1864 and 1865. We discussed his next book, Lincoln’s Greatest Journey: Sixteen Days That Changed a Presidency, March 24 – … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Book Review, Books & Authors, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Personalities, Reconstruction, Sieges, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Every Dog Has Its Day: The Most Optimistic Prisoner?

John Peterson, a forty-four year old farmer from Catawba County, enlisted as a private into Company D of the 28th North Carolina on October 28, 1864. His late entry into the war suggests to me that he might have been … Continue reading

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Saved by His Pocket Diary: Sergeant Francis McMillen at the Jones Farm

In a small leather bound journal, Francis McMillen daily jotted down notes while hunkered down in the Petersburg trenches during the last year of the war. He mixed frequent updates on the weather with sarcastic commentary on the boring routine … Continue reading

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Postscript to the Charlie Gould Story

By most accounts, Captain Charles Gilbert Gould was the first VI Corps soldier to reach the Confederate earthworks on the morning of April 2, 1865. His desperate encounter in hand-to-hand combat with Brig. Gen. James H. Lane’s Tar Heels was … Continue reading

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Separate Roads to Petersburg: The Fractured Federal High Command, April 1865

Ever have a dispute with someone turn so ugly that you don’t want to even share the same road? From all appearances, that may have been the case on April 2, 1865 with the damaged relationship between Lt. Gen. Ulysses … Continue reading

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