Petersburg, Virginia USA

On April 3, 1865 Petersburg fell to Union forces after the longest siege in US history.  These are photo which I took during our visit to Petersburg while traveling to Toledo for NAMES 2006.

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After leaving the visitor center we happened on this engine which was under a highway overpass.  There was no one around to ask why it was there but the area looked like it is undergoing redevelopment so maybe they are going to develop a historical theme.

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In the National Park visitor center numerous items of interest about the siege are displayed.  The center of the circular building is a theater and as visitors walk around the theater there are below the floor setting that represent the detritus of was.  The picture on the right shows why doctors are sometimes referred to as "saw bones".  That is a Civil War era bone saw at the top of the case.  Ouch!

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A row of various cannon used in the Civil War.  Note the dent on the barrel of the fourth cannon to the right.

PICT0055.JPG (125360 bytes)  Typical gun emplacement.

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During the siege this Sea Coast mortar was used to hurl shell into the city of Petersburg.

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A plan was proposed by Union soldiers who had been miners before the war. A tunnel would be dug to a point below the Confederate works and an enormous mine (we would call it a bomb today) would be detonated to blow open a path into the city.  A company of African American troops were thoroughly trained to lead the attack.  They had to be able to deal with the noise and confusion that the explosion would cause in the Rebel works.  But at the last minute they were pulled back and troops who had no special training were sent in their place.  What resulted was disaster.  The untrained troops were slaughtered, trapped by the steep walls of the Crater.     

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  In Petersburg the Blanford Cemetery is the second largest cemetery in Virginia after Arlington National Cemetery.  the Old Blanford Church erected in 1735 is beautiful sight with its Tiffany windows is worth the modest price of admission  In the center picture is our guide who did an excellent job of explaining a host of interesting facts about the church and the cemetery.  At the far right is a table gravestone.  In the old days families would visit their departed and picnic on the table top marker.

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