A report on Siege of Petersburg

The "Dictator" siege mortar at Petersburg. In the foreground, the figure on the right is Brig. Gen. Henry J. Hunt, chief of artillery of the Army of the Potomac.
Fredericksburg, Virginia; May 1863. Soldiers in the trenches. Trench warfare would appear again more infamously in World War I
A portion of the 4th USCT Infantry
Siege of Petersburg, assaults on June 15–18
Siege of Petersburg, movements against the railroads and A.P. Hill's counterattack, June 21–22
Wilson–Kautz Raid, June 22 – July 1
"Dictator" siege mortar on the U.S. Military Railroad at Petersburg
First Battle of Deep Bottom, July 27–29
Siege of Petersburg, Battle of the Crater, July 30
Sketch of the explosion seen from the Union line.
Second Battle of Deep Bottom, August 14–20
Siege of Petersburg, capture of the Weldon Railroad, August 18–19
Siege of Petersburg, actions on October 27
Siege of Petersburg, actions preceding Five Forks
Grant's final assaults and Lee's retreat (start of the Appomattox Campaign)
<center>Lt. Gen.
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<center>Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson</center>
<center>Brig. Gen. August Kautz</center>
Fascine Trench Breastworks, Petersburg, Va. – NARA – 524792. Although identified as Confederate Trenches this is actually Union Fort Sedgwick aka "Fort Hell" which was opposite Fort Mahone aka "Fort Damnation"<ref>Civil War talk Forum</ref>
Union Army 9th Corps attacking Fort Mahone aka "Fort Damanation" sketch by Alfred Ward.
Confederate artilleryman killed during the final Union assault against the trenches at Petersburg. Photo by Thomas C. Roche, April 3, 1865.<ref>Frassanito, p. 360.</ref><ref>See website Petersburg Project on location of Many of the Roche photographs at Petersburg April 1865</ref> Although prints of this picture list it as being taken at Ft Mahone, historians at the "Petersburg Project" believe it was taken at Confederate Battery 25<ref>Dead Artilleryman comments Petersburg Project</ref>
Smoke is still rising from the ruins of Richmond, Virginia after surrendering on April 3, 1865 following the Union victory at the siege of Petersburg. Union cavalry mounts with carbines visible are hitched in the foreground.
Richmond–Petersburg Theater, fall 1864
Confederate
Union

Series of battles around Petersburg, Virginia, fought from June 9, 1864, to March 25, 1865, during the American Civil War.

- Siege of Petersburg
The "Dictator" siege mortar at Petersburg. In the foreground, the figure on the right is Brig. Gen. Henry J. Hunt, chief of artillery of the Army of the Potomac.

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The Proposed Richmond and Petersburg Railroad with the Chesterfield Railroad bringing coal in from Western Chesterfield. The "coal mines" post office was established in November 1811 with a name change to "Black Heath" post office in 1851 after coal was discovered in other parts of the county to the south.

Richmond and Petersburg Railroad

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The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad moved passengers and goods between Richmond and Petersburg from 1838 to 1898.

The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad moved passengers and goods between Richmond and Petersburg from 1838 to 1898.

The Proposed Richmond and Petersburg Railroad with the Chesterfield Railroad bringing coal in from Western Chesterfield. The "coal mines" post office was established in November 1811 with a name change to "Black Heath" post office in 1851 after coal was discovered in other parts of the county to the south.
In 1848, the Chesterfield Railroad is no longer shown and the Clover hill is shown connecting to coal mines, the Clover Hill Pits.
Richmond & Petersburg locomotive destroyed in the fall of Richmond, April 1865
Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Bridge after it was destroyed by Confederate Troops.
Map from 1891 showing the stops on the Stops on the Richmond and Petersburg.
Former Centralia Station of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad
1862 Map Showing the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad with the connection to the Clover Hill and other Railroads.

Towards the end of the war, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant tried to cut off the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, which was the supply line to Richmond, in the Siege of Petersburg.

USCT recruiting poster

United States Colored Troops

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The United States Colored Troops (USCT) were regiments in the United States Army composed primarily of African-American (colored) soldiers, although members of other minority groups also served within the units.

The United States Colored Troops (USCT) were regiments in the United States Army composed primarily of African-American (colored) soldiers, although members of other minority groups also served within the units.

USCT recruiting poster
USCT soldiers at an abandoned farmhouse in Dutch Gap, Virginia, 1864
Colored Troops singing "John Brown's Body" as they marched into Charleston, South Carolina, in February 1865. Note the attitude of the local population, and the white officers.
Union soldier in uniform with family; he has been identified as Sgt. Samuel Smith of the 119th USCT
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Escaped slave, Gordon (also called "Whipped Peter"), in USCT uniform
Captain Francis Jackson Meriam, 3rd South Carolina Colored Infantry
U.S. Colored Troops medal issued by General Benjamin Butler
African-American corporal (United States Colored Troops)outside 8 Whitehall Street, Atlanta, a slave auction house; Fall 1864
Printed broadside, calling all men of color to arms, 1863
Sgt Major Christian Fleetwood. Civil War, Medal of Honor recipient
3rd US Colored Troops banner {obverse}
22th US Colored Troops banner
24th US Colored Troops banner
26th US Colored Troops banner
27th US Colored Troops banner
45th US Colored Troops banner
Harriet Tubman with family and ex-slaves; sitting at left is Tubmans 2nd husband Nelson Davis (8th USCT veteran)

The most famous USCT action took place at the Battle of the Crater during the Siege of Petersburg.

Federal earthworks at Bermuda Hundred

Bermuda Hundred campaign

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Series of battles fought at the town of Bermuda Hundred, outside Richmond, Virginia, during May 1864 in the American Civil War.

Series of battles fought at the town of Bermuda Hundred, outside Richmond, Virginia, during May 1864 in the American Civil War.

Federal earthworks at Bermuda Hundred
During the Civil War, the Confederacy was generally able to keep the Union troops west of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, with the main exception being the Bermuda Hundred campaign of 1864.

Butler's forces were eventually used in the Siege of Petersburg.

Political general

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General officer or other military leader without significant military experience who is given a high position in command for political reasons, through political connections, or to appease certain political blocs and factions.

General officer or other military leader without significant military experience who is given a high position in command for political reasons, through political connections, or to appease certain political blocs and factions.

Benjamin Franklin Butler, State Senator from Massachusetts and Brigadier General in the Massachusetts militia. He lost the war's first land battle at Big Bethel on July 1, 1861, and was later put in charge of the Department of the Gulf, governing the captured New Orleans with strict discipline (and earning the derogatory nickname "Spoons" for his alleged habit of pilfering from Confederate homes). He led the Army of the James during the failed Bermuda Hundred Campaign, the Siege of Petersburg, and at Fort Fisher. After the latter, he was relieved of his command. He was later elected Governor of Massachusetts.

German soldiers of the 11th Reserve Hussar Regiment fighting from a trench, on the Western Front, 1916

Trench warfare

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Type of land warfare using occupied lines largely comprising military trenches, in which troops are well-protected from the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery.

Type of land warfare using occupied lines largely comprising military trenches, in which troops are well-protected from the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery.

German soldiers of the 11th Reserve Hussar Regiment fighting from a trench, on the Western Front, 1916
Lines of Torres Vedras
Trenches at the Siege of Vicksburg 1863
German forward detachments guarding the entrance to a trench line in front of Arras in 1915
Trenches of the 11th Cheshire Regiment at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, on the Somme, July 1916. One sentry keeps watch while the others sleep. Photo by Ernest Brooks
1st Lancashire Fusiliers, in communication trench near Beaumont Hamel, Somme, 1916. Photo by Ernest Brooks
French trench in northeastern France
Trench construction diagram from a 1914 British infantry manual
Indian infantry digging trenches, Fauquissart, France, 9 August 1915.
Soldiers training in trench warfare, with well-defined fire bays connected by offset traverse trenches, with zigzag communication trenches leading to the rear area
Breastwork "trench", Armentières, 1916
Australian light horseman using a periscope rifle, Gallipoli 1915
Aerial view of opposing trench lines between Loos and Hulluch, July 1917. German trenches at the right and bottom, British at the top-left.
American soldiers struggle to pass multiple lines of barbed wire
Soldiers in a trench on the Ortler, at an elevation of 3850 m (1917).
British Mills bomb N°23 Mk II, with rod for launch by rifle
Various trench weapons used by British and Canadian soldiers in WWI on display at the Canadian War Museum
French soldiers with a Sauterelle bomb-throwing crossbow, c. 1915
Vickers machine gun
German soldier with MP 18, 1918
Loading a 15 in howitzer
French soldiers operating a compressed-air trench mortar of 86-millimetre calibre
German trenches in Vimy
French troopers using a periscope, 1915
Distribution of pinard (ration wine) in a French trench in winter, considered important for morale
"Studying French in the Trenches", The Literary Digest, October 20, 1917
Hot shower-bath establishment installed by a French engineer, November 1914
Front Line Anzac
A barber in a French trench
A German machine gun position just after its capture by New Zealand soldiers, with a dead German among the debris, Grevillers, 24 August 1918, Hundred Days Offensive
Stretcher bearers, Passchendaele, August 1917
Dead German soldiers lie in the rubble of a trench destroyed by mine explosion, Messines Ridge, 1917
German Stoßtruppen (stormtroopers) rising from trenches to attack
Explosion of a mine seen from a French position. 1916
Australian infantry wearing WWI gas masks, Ypres, September 1917
This British Mark IV tank displays a "tadpole tail" extension for crossing especially wide trenches, an experiment that was not successful
Failure of a tank to cross an anti-tank trench
Side view diagram of a gun in a retractable turret, in block 3 in Ouvrage Schoenenbourg of the Maginot Line
Soldiers of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force in a trench in Montese during the Italian Campaign of World War II, 1944
A British trench mortar post in North Africa, 1940
Soviet soldiers running through the ruins of Stalingrad, 1942
Iranian Troops in forward trenches during the Iran–Iraq War
Ukrainian soldier in the trenches during the War in Donbass
Afghan and U.S. soldiers provide security while standing behind a blast wall made from HESCO bastions at Zhari district, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, 2012
British (upper) and German (lower) front line trenches, 1916

Union and Confederate armies employed field works and extensive trench systems in the American Civil War (1861–1865) — most notably in the sieges of Vicksburg (1863) and Petersburg (1864–1865), the latter of which saw the first use by the Union Army of the rapid-fire Gatling gun, the important precursor to modern-day machine guns.

Francis C. Barlow

Francis C. Barlow

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Lawyer, politician, and Union General during the American Civil War.

Lawyer, politician, and Union General during the American Civil War.

Francis C. Barlow
Francis C. Barlow
Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock and generals during the Overland Campaign. Standing, from left to right, are Barlow (wearing his familiar checked shirt), David B. Birney, and John Gibbon.

He fought at the Battle of Cold Harbor and the Siege of Petersburg in the same command.

Wade Hampton during the Civil War

Wade Hampton III

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American military officer who served the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War and later a politician from South Carolina.

American military officer who served the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War and later a politician from South Carolina.

Wade Hampton during the Civil War
The Col. William Rhett House, 54 Hasell St., Charleston, South Carolina, the birthplace of Wade Hampton III
Wade Hampton and other leading South Carolinians inspecting the interiors of Fort Sumter, April 10, 1861
Senator Wade Hampton
Statue of Wade Hampton at South Carolina State House

While Lee's army was bottled up in the Siege of Petersburg, in January 1865, Hampton returned to South Carolina to recruit soldiers.

Union Army of the Shenandoah

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Union army during the American Civil War.

Union army during the American Civil War.

Following those battles in the fall of 1864, the majority of the Army of the Shenandoah was detached to Grant at Petersburg and to William Tecumseh Sherman in Georgia.

Gouverneur K. Warren

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American civil engineer and Union Army general during the American Civil War.

American civil engineer and Union Army general during the American Civil War.

Major General Gouverneur Kemble Warren. From the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
Commanders of the Army of the Potomac, Gouverneur K. Warren, William H. French, George G. Meade, Henry J. Hunt, Andrew A. Humphreys and George Sykes in September 1863
Gerhardt's statue of Warren on Little Round Top in Gettysburg

Upon Hancock's return from medical leave, and the spring 1864 reorganization of the Army of the Potomac, Warren assumed command of the V Corps and led it through the Overland Campaign, the Siege of Petersburg, and the Appomattox Campaign.

Depiction of the siege of Lisbon, 1147

Siege

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Military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault.

Military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault.

Depiction of the siege of Lisbon, 1147
Picture of the siege of Rancagua during the Chilean War of Independence
Assyrians using siege ladders in a relief of attack on an enemy town during the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III 720–738 BCE from his palace at Kalhu (Nimrud)
The Egyptian siege of Dapur in the 13th century BC, from Ramesseum, Thebes
Depiction of various siege machines in the mid-16th century
Medieval trebuchets could sling about two projectiles per hour at enemy positions.
Cahir Castle in Ireland was besieged and captured three times: in 1599 by the Earl of Essex, in 1647 by Lord Inchiquin, and in 1650 by Oliver Cromwell.
Roman siege machines
Chinese and Korean troops assault the Japanese forces of Hideyoshi in the siege of Ulsan Castle during the Imjin War (1592–1598).
Late 16th-century illustration of cannon with gabions
The siege of Candia, regarded as one of the longest sieges in history (1648–1669)
Vauban's star-shaped fortified city of Neuf-Brisach
The Battle of Vienna took place in 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months.
Storming of Redoubt#10 during the siege of Yorktown
British infantry attempt to scale the walls of Badajoz, Peninsular War, 1812
French Engineer Corps during the siege of Antwerp, 1832
This sepoy PoW shows the conditions of the garrison at Kut at the end of the siege in World War I.
The Skoda 305 mm Model 1911
Siege of Przemyśl
Map showing Axis encirclement during the siege of Leningrad (1942–1943)
French troops seeking cover in trenches, Dien Bien Phu, 1954
Sarajevo residents collecting firewood, winter of 1992–1993
Map of destroyed infrastructure following the Siege of Marawi, 2017
The conflagration of the Mount Carmel Center on the final day of the Waco siege

The siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War and the siege of Petersburg (1864–1865) during the American Civil War showed that modern citadels, when improved by improvised defences, could still resist an enemy for many months.