SIEGE OF PETERSBURG (Illustration) American History Civil Wars Famous Historical Events Film Geography Social Studies Visual Arts Nineteenth Century Life Fiction

Currier & Ives created this hand-colored lithograph depicting events which occurred at Petersburg, Virginia on the 2nd of April, 1865. After General Lee and the Confederate States of America lost this battle, the Civil War was effectively over. General Lee surrendered soon after. Image online, courtesy Library of Congress. Click on the image for a better view.


How did Petersburg and its surrounding area appear during the long siege? We can "look back" in time by examining some of the many photographs and drawings maintained by the U.S. National Archives.

  • The North used railroads as a base for weapons against the Confederates. "The Petersburg Express (also called "The Dictator") was a 13-inch, 17,000-pound mortar which Federal troops used to shell Petersburg 21/2 miles away.
  • The Union siege line around Petersburg used wickerware (gabions), sharpened stakes (fraises) and branches (abatis) to protect the lines. 
  • The Confederates used Fascine trench breastworks, among other things, to defend their lines. 
  • A Federal Army forge, in front of Petersburg, kept workers busy in August of 
  • Weeks after the Battle of the Crater, a few members of the Federal Army of the Potomac relaxed in front of Petersburg during the siege.
  • Part of General Grant's lines.
  • Breastworks at and above Petersburg. 
  • Exterior of "Fort Hell," Petersburg lines. 
  • Graves near Petersburg, in Warren's Station, Virginia.
  • Inside and outside Ft. Sedgwick - also called Ft. Hell - in 1865 
  • Swamp from which the Confederates were driven at the point of bayonets, near Petersburg

On April 2, 1865 General Lee was forced to evacuate Petersburg. One week later, on April 9th, the revered General surrendered at the McLean House in the Village of Appomattox Court House.

Inman had escaped Petersburg long before the city fell. But as he journeyed back home to Cold Mountain, he would encounter many dangers, including marauding bands of the "Home Guard."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Mar 29, 2018

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"SIEGE OF PETERSBURG" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2003. Feb 18, 2020.
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