First Battle of Petersburg

First Battle of Petersburg (HM9GJ)

Location: Petersburg, VA 23805
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 13.085', W 77° 23.597'

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Kautz's Effort Stopped Here

— Lee vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign —

In May 1864, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant launched attacks on Confederate armies across the South. He accompanied Gen. George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac as it fought Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor. With most of both armies still north of the James River, the Federals made their first attempt to capture Confederate-held Petersburg. That effort was stopped here.

On June 9, 1864, Gen. August V. Kautz led 13,000 Union cavalrymen here with orders to capture and burn the city. Petersburg's Home Guard, 125 old men and young boys, held them off for two hours but finally retreated. The road to Petersburg lay open.

From Bermuda Hundred, 10 miles northeast on the James River, Confederate Gen. James Dearing rushed cavalry and a battery of artillery commanded by Petersburg resident Edward Graham through the city's streets. Dearing, having formerly served with the famed New Orleans' Washington Artillery, placed Graham's guns on the hills on either side of the road and skillfully directed their fire, halting Kautz's attack. Dearing then led a cavalry charge that drove the Federals away, saving the city for the Confederates that day.

A native of Campbell County, Va., Dearing attended the U.S. Military Academy, resigning to offer his services to his state and the Confederacy. Struck during the fighting at High Bridge on April 6, 1865, three days before Lee surrendered, he died on April 25, and was the last officer in the Army of Northern Virginia to die from combat wounds.
HM NumberHM9GJ
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 7:35am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 287648 N 4121748
Decimal Degrees37.21808333, -77.39328333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 13.085', W 77° 23.597'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 13' 5.10" N, 77° 23' 35.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804, 434
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 425 Graham Rd, Petersburg VA 23805, US
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