the petersburg visitor center in located in the farmer's bank building in downtown petersburg. the farmer's bank was built in 1817 and is one of the oldest existant bank buildings in america. at the visitor center you can get information on the attractions of petersburg, a map of the downtown historic district, and information on the petersburg national battlefield park. the visitors center is a good first stop on a visit to petersburg.
the petersburg courthouse was built in 1839. during the siege of petersburg during the civil war the courthouse served as the confederate headquarters. on june 9 th 1864 the courthouse bell was rung to warn local militias to meet the advancing union cavalry. during the ten month siege of petersburg both union and confederate forces could see the courthouse clock from their trenches and set their timepieces by it. after ten months of fighting union forces occupied the courthouse on april 3 rd 1865. the petersburg courthouse is listed on the national register of historic places.
the centre hill mansion was built by robert bolling in 1823. this beautiful mansion is a blend of federal, greek revival, and colonial revival architectural elements. after the end of the civil war the mansion was the headquarters of the union in petersburg and on april 7 th 1865 president abraham lincoln and senator charles sumner visited the home. centre hill mansion is listed on the national register of historic places. today the mansion is open to the public for tours.
the petersburg siege museum is located in the historic exchange building in the downtown historic district. this beautiful greek revival building was built between 1839 and 1841. the siege museum has a collection of civil war artifacts and shows an excellent movie about the ten month siege of petersburg. for those interested in civil war history the siege museum should not be missed on a visit to petersburg.
this interesting house was built by charles o'hara in 1817. this house was built with no right angles because a west indian slave told o'hara that ghosts live in right angles. all of the doors, windows, floors, and stairs do not have right angles. this unusual building is open to the public by tour.
pictured is the ruins of an 1809 building that is believed to be on the site of major peter jones trading station. jones had a trading station here in around 1675. the town of petersburg is named after peter jones.
the petersburg historic district is listed on the national register of historic places. in downtown there a scores of historic and architectually significant homes and buildings. pictured is a residental block in downtown petersburg. for those interested in history and architecture petersburg is a very worth while side trip off of I-95 in southeast virginia.
this two room cabin was general ulysses s. grants headquarters during the ten month seige of petersburg. grant's headquarters was established in the summer of 1864 on the grounds of appomattox plantation at the confluence of the appomattox and james rivers. the plantation was used as a supply depot, communications center, and a field hospital. a bakery on site produced 100,000 rations of bread per day for union troops. president abraham lincoln visited grant's headquarters in march 1865 just prior to the occupation of petersburg. grant's headquarters is part of the petersburg national battlefield park.
appomattox plantation was a 2,300 acre plantation established by dr. richard epps. prior to the civil war appomattox plantation had 130 slaves. in 1862 the presence of union gunboats on the james river forced epps and his family to seek shelter in petersburg. during the siege of petersburg dr. epps served as a surgeon in a petersburg military hospital. in the summer of 1864 the epps plantation was occupied by the union and was union general ulysses s. grant's headquarters during the siege of petersburg.
in september 1864 confederate general wade hampton raided the union lines near city point and captured 2,486 head of cattle and returned to confederate territory. hampton's daring foray into union lines became known as the "beefsteak raid". since this raid was so close to general ulysses s. grant's headquarters grant ordered the construction of eight earthen forts in a line near modern day hopewell virginia. union fort is one of the existant forts remaining in that line of defenses.
pictured is the petersburg national battlefield visitors center. the visitors center is located at battery five on the dimmock defensive line east of downtown petersburg. at the visitor center you can get a map for a auto tour of the siege of petersburg. the visitor center is a good first stop on a visit to petersburg national battlefield.
in 1862 captain charles dimmock oversaw the construction of a ten mile line of defensive earthen works ringing petersburg. pictured is battery five one of the largest of fifty five artillery positions in the dimmock line. battery five was built by slave labor. battery five is stop #1 in the eastern front auto tour.
confederate battery 8 is stop # 2 on the petersburg battlefield auto tour. this battery was captured by black union troops and was renamed fort friend for the friend house located nearby. this fort played a major role during the battle of fort stedman in march 1864.
battery 9 is stop # 3 on the battlefield auto tour. black troops captured this battery in the first days of the siege. this site features confederate fortifications and reconstructed buildings that were there during the siege.
also located at stop # 3 on the battlefield auto tour is the meade station trail. this short trail passes by the site of meade station, an important supply depot, fort lee, and the site of union infantry camps.