The Petersburg Campaign (June 1864-March 1865) was a climactic series of battles in southern Virginia during the American Civil War (1861-65), in which Union General Ulysses S. Grant faced off against Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The campaign saw one of the most protracted uses of trench warfare during the war, as the two armies clashed for more than nine months along a series of trenches more than 30 miles long. By late March, with Confederate supplies dwindling and Union pressure mounting, Lee was forced to retreat; abandoning both Petersburg and the nearby Confederate capital of Richmond, and leading to his surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
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This Day in History
Union General Ulysses S. Grant continues to pound away at Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia in the engagement along the North Anna River in…
The American Civil War, fueled by the debate over slavery and states' rights, pitted North against South in the costliest conflict fought on U.S. soil.
Ulysses Grant commanded the Union army during the Civil War and later became the 18th U.S. president.
Lee's most brilliantly fought battle was the defeat of Joseph Hooker at Chancellorsville on May 1-4, 1863.
In May 1864, Confederate forces in Virginia confronted advancing Union troops in the chaotic Battle of the Wilderness.
Did You Know?
More than 9,000 members of the U.S. Colored Troops fought for the Union in the Petersburg Campaign. This was the largest number of black soldiers who fought in any battle of the war, and many fought with distinction--15 of the 16 Medals of Honor awarded to black soldiers were based on actions at Petersburg.
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Classroom Study Guides
Teacher's Guide to the program covering the last few weeks of the Civil War, from President Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration, to the surrender at Appomatox, the assassination of Lincoln, and the final laying down of arms by the Confederacy.
The Hatfields and the McCoys. Their names evoke images of a bitter feud between two American families. But many people may be unfamiliar with the story behind this legendary conflict.
Sherman's March (PDF)
Teacher's guide to General William Tecumseh Sherman's military campaign. In 1864 General Sherman began his "March to the Sea," burning crops, confiscating supplies, destroying buildings and ripping up the rail tracks on his way.