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This site reveals the many strands that wove together in Richmond in the years betweenwhen the Richmond Daily Dispatch d publication after the devastating fire and dislocation of the end of the Civil War, and earlywhen Virginia began a new era after the passage of a new constitution and reentry into the United States. In those years, the largest slave state in the United States and the former capital of the Confederacy were recast into a new form. Reconstruction began even as the Civil War was still being fought. Johnson, who had defended the Union as a United States Senator and wartime governor of Tennessee and who was elected Vice President with Lincoln in at the head of the Union Party, proved surprisingly lenient with white Southerners and unsympathetic to the people who had been held in slavery. Johnson hoped to create a national party devoted to the Union and sought the support of the former leaders of the South. Former Confederates violently attacked black people in cities and the countryside across the region.

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By DecemberDimmock asked the Petersburg Common Council for " negroes" to perform more labor. After the crushing Union defeat at Cold Harbor, Grant uses stealth and deception to shift his army south of the James River. It is the largest regimental loss of the entire Civil War.

With Confederate works now heavily manned, the opportunity to capture Petersburg without a siege is lost.


African Americans served as soldiers and laborers for both the Union and Confederate armies in the battle and siege at Petersburg. Grant continues to order attacks and cut off rail lines. Before the battle and siege of Petersburg, both freedmen and slaves were employed in various war functions, including working for the numerous railroad companies that supplied the South. Petersburg was considered to have the largest of free Blacks of any Southern city at that time.

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During the war nearlyAfrican Americans served the Union. Within ten minutes, men lay dead or wounded on the field. The slaves were "to report each morning upon the work … at eight o'clock [and] to be dismissed and permitted to return home at 4 p. Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Court House a week later.

Edward Hinks. In September of that year, Confederate general Robert E. Lee asked for an additional 2, Blacks to be added to his labor force.

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Union 8, Questions to Consider 1. The Confederates lose Batteries 12 through The Union Ninth Corps gains more ground, but the fight is poorly coordinated. Some enslaved people from Virginia's Eastern Shore and more than 1, from North Carolina dug the fortifications.

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A notice in the April 1,Petersburg Daily Express read, "To the slave is offered freedom and undisturbed residences at their old homes in the Confederacy after the war. Civil War Biography. Colonel Joseph Kiddoo, commanding the Twenty-second U. The Union Second Corps capture another section of the Confederate line.

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Standing in his way is the Dimmock Line, a series of 55 artillery batteries and connected infantry earthworks that form a mile arc around the city. Petersburg: Featured Resources. Estimated Casualties. Labor on the Dimmock Line continued through the rest of Captain Dimmock wrote that by late in Julythe Dimmock Line was "not entirely completed, but sufficiently so for all defensive purposes. Black troops in the Union army, including some freedmen and some former slaves from the southern states, had already distinguished themselves before the action at Petersburg.

Federal troops gain the rear of Battery 5, throwing the defenders from the Twenty-sixth Virginia and a single battery of artillery into a panic. Though incomplete, the fortifications were an initial obstacle to Union troops as they descended on Petersburg in June But once the city was under siege by the Federals, the trenches of the Dimmock Line proved to be as much of a prison as a protection for the exhausted and hungry Confederate troops trapped there throughout the winter.

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After four days of fighting with no success, Grant begins siege operations. That night, Beauregard digs a new line of defense closer to Petersburg that meets up with the Dimmock Line at Battery 25, and Lee rushes reinforcements from other elements of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Capturing this important transportation hub would isolate the Confederate capital and force Gen. Robert E. Lee to either evacuate Richmond or fight the numerically superior Grant on open ground. The city of Petersburg, 24 miles south of Richmond, was the junction point of five railro that supplied the entire upper James River region. Civil War Battle Map. Petersburg: Search All Resources. Winfield S. Once under way, the Union attack proves anti-climactic.

But progress on the defenses was continually hampered by a shortage in manpower. Captain Charles Dimmock of the Confederate Corps of Engineers deed the impressive ten-mile trench line that stretched around Petersburg in a "U" shape and was anchored on the southern bank of the Appomattox River. During the Petersburg Campaign, U. Petersburg Assault on Petersburg.

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His troops begin crossing the river both on transports and a brilliantly engineered 2,foot-long pontoon bridge at Windmill Point on June By the morning of June 15, Grant is ready to launch his attack. Ulysses S. Although the Confederates held off the Federals in the Battle of Petersburg, Grant implemented a siege of the city that lasted for days and ultimately cost the South the war. Once the siege began in JuneAfrican Americans continued working for the Confederacy.

From June 15—18,Confederate general Beauregard and his troops, though outed by the Federals, saved Petersburg from Union capture. Who built the elaborate Confederate fortifications known as the Dimmock Line at Petersburg?

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Not freedom of sufferance, but honorable and self won by the gallantry and devotion which grateful countrymen will never cease to remember and reward. As he attacks Petersburg, other Union troops simultaneously attack around Richmond, which strains the Confederacy to the breaking point. Supporting units fail to protect their flanks.

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In context General Ulysses S. During the Battle. General Ulysses S. His strategic goals shifted from the defeat of Robert E. Lee's army in the field to eliminating the supply and communication routes to the Confederate capital at Richmond. Union 62, Aftermath Union. Civil War Video.

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City of Petersburg, VA Jun 15 - 18, How it ended Although the Confederates held off the Federals in the Battle of Petersburg, Grant implemented a siege of the city that lasted for days and ultimately cost the South the war. However, with Lee still defending Richmond, a scratch force of only 2, soldiers under Confederate general P.

June Union general William F. Smith delays his assault until p. In the initial assault on the city on June 15, a division of U. It was the largest Black force assembled during the war and ranged between 9, and 16, men.

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Batteries 3 through 8 also fall. The fortifications held 55 artillery batteries and the walls reached as high as 40 feet in some areas. All battles of the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign.

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What critical roles did African Americans serve at Petersburg? Batteries 6 through 11 are captured by U. Colored Troops, commanded by Brig. That evening, Grant evacuates Petersburg.

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In Marchas white manpower in the army dwindled, the desperate Confederacy called for 40, slaves to become an armed force. Work on the defense line began in the summer of Under the orders of Maj. Daniel H. Hill, Dimmock used soldiers and enslaved laborers to execute the plan. During the 10 months of the siege, both armies endure skirmishing, mortar and artillery fire, poor rations, and intense boredom.

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Civil War Article. The men of the First Maine Heavy Artillery advance across a cornfield and straight into Confederate fire.