Prelude to Petersburg

Prelude to Petersburg (HM1J76)

Location: Prince George, VA 23875 Prince George County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 14.629', W 77° 21.387'

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1864 Overland Campaign

On May 4, 1864, the Federal Army crossed the Rapidan River twenty miles west of Fredericksburg. The next day, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's forces struck the Union army in the Wilderness, opening a month-long campaign of nearly nonstop fighting and staggering casualty totals.

After the Wilderness, Lee attempted to block Union General Ulysses S. Grant's southward drive toward Richmond at Spotsylvania Court House, then along the North Anna River, again at Totopotomoy Creek, and finally at Cold Harbor, just eight miles from Richmond. At Cold Harbor Grant's headlong assaults into Lee's line on June 1 and June 3 failed. Undaunted, he matched his army south to Petersburg and began the long process of cutting Richmond's supply lines.

The fighting in the thick woods west of Fredericksburg produced nearly 30,000 casualties but no clear winner.

Spotsylvania Court House
Grant ignored the indecisive results of the Wilderness and pressed southward. Lee blocked him here and for two weeks close to 200,000 men fought for an advantage.

North Anna River and Totopotomoy Creek
These two engagements forced Grant to continue moving to Lee's right as the Union forces searched for a way to capture Richmond.

Cold Harbor
Major attacks on the Confederate line bring the total number of casualties to around 90,000 men in six weeks of fighting. Grant's failure here turns his attention to Petersburg, ending the "overland" portion of the 1864 campaign.
HM NumberHM1J76
Placed ByPetersburg National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 at 5:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 290987 N 4124522
Decimal Degrees37.24381667, -77.35645000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 14.629', W 77° 21.387'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 14' 37.74" N, 77° 21' 23.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5001 Siege Rd, Prince George VA 23875, US
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