Petersburg 1864-65: The Longest Siege

Overview

In 1864, Petersburg, Virginia became the setting for one of the last great campaigns of the American Civil War (1861-1865) and the longest siege in American History. After his failure to capture Richmond in the Spring, General Ulysses S. Grant decided to strangle the life out of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia by surrounding the city of Petersburg and cutting off General Robert E. Lee's supply lines.

The ensuing siege would carry on for nearly ten months, involve ...

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Petersburg 1864-65: The longest siege

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Overview

In 1864, Petersburg, Virginia became the setting for one of the last great campaigns of the American Civil War (1861-1865) and the longest siege in American History. After his failure to capture Richmond in the Spring, General Ulysses S. Grant decided to strangle the life out of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia by surrounding the city of Petersburg and cutting off General Robert E. Lee's supply lines.

The ensuing siege would carry on for nearly ten months, involve 160,000 soldiers, and see a number of pitched battles including the Battle of the Crater, Reams Station, Hatcher's Run, and White Oak Road. But around these battles were long days of living in trenches, enduring poor diet and winter weather, and suffering constant artillery bombardment. In April of 1865, Grant ordered a sweeping offensive against the beleaguered Confederates, which broke Lee's right flank and forced him to retreat to Appomattox Court House, where he surrendered a week later.

Written by an expert on the American Civil War, this book examines the last clash between the armies of U.S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Readers interested in the Siege of Petersburg will want this book in their library, especially considering the price. The map of the late June action along the Jerusalem Plank Road alone makes the book worth it, in this reviewer’s opinion." -Brett Schulte, TOCWOC - A Civil War Blog (April 27, 2009)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846033551
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/19/2009
  • Series: Campaign Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,000,510
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Until his retirement in 2007, Ron Field was Head of History at the Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1982 and taught history at Piedmont High School in California from 1982 to 1983. He was associate editor of the Confederate Historical Society of Great Britain, from 1983 to 1992. He is an internationally acknowledged expert on US military history, and was elected a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, based in Washington, DC, in 2005.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 5

Opposing Commanders 8

Confederate

Union

Opposing Armies 14

Opposing Plans 16

The Opening Phase 17

The Battle of the Crater

The "battle of old men and young boys," June 9, 1864

Crossing the James River, June 9-15, 1864 Breakthrough on the Dimmock Line, June 15-18, 1864

Jerusalem Plank Road (First Weldon Railroad), June 21-24, 1864

The Wilson and Kautz cavalry raid, June 21-29, 1864 First Deep Bottom, July 27-29, 1864 37

The Battle of the Crater

The mine

Planning for the battle

The assault begins

The Confederate counterattack 37

The Long Siege, August 1864 to April 1865

Weldon Railroad (Globe Tavern & Reams' Station), August 18-21, 1864 Reams' Station, August 25, 1864

Hampton's "Beefsteak" Raid, September 14-17, 1864 Peebles' Farm (Jones' Farm), September 30 to October 2, 1864 Boydton Plank Road (Burgess' Mill or Hatcher's Run), October 27-28, 1864 The Weldon Railroad Raid, December 7, 1864

Hatcher's Run (Dabney's Mills, Rowanty Creek, Armstrong's Mill, Vaughan Road), February 5-7, 1865

The attack on Fort Stedman, March 25, 1865 Lewis Farm and White Oak Road, March 29 and 31, 1865. Five Forks, April 1, 1865 60

The Fall of Petersburg 82

The Battlefield Today 88

Order of Battle 90

Bibliography 95

Index 96

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