The Breakthrough

The Breakthrough (HM9ZH)

Location: Petersburg, VA 23803
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 10.912', W 77° 28.435'

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The Breakthrough Trail

— Pamplin Historical Park —

On the evening of April 1, 1865, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant issued orders for a massive attack against the Confederate lines defending Petersburg. Grant scheduled the assault for the following morning.

In the pre-dawn darkness of April 2, the Union Sixth Corps deployed in a wedge-shaped formation aimed at the Confederate works directly in front of you. They began their attack at 4:30 a.m. In a matter of minutes they had crossed what was then one-half mile of open fields and approached the Confederate fortifications.

The grayclad defenders, soldiers from North Carolina, blasted the attackers with muskets and cannon fire, inflicting hundreds of casualties in about fifteen minutes. Despite these terrible losses, the brave and determined Northerners sustained their momentum and scrambled up and over the earthworks.

A vicious hand-to-hand struggle took place along the Confederate works, but the outnumbered Southerners could not hold their position. Many of the Confederates were captured - unknown numbers of others were killed or wounded. Soon, Union flags flew from these ramparts that had been defended for so long by General Robert E. Lee's devoted troops.

The Breakthrough here forced General Lee to evacuate Petersburg that night. Confederate government officials fled the capital at Richmond as well. One week later, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House.
HM NumberHM9ZH
Placed ByPamplin Historical Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 3:57am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280387 N 4117914
Decimal Degrees37.18186667, -77.47391667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 10.912', W 77° 28.435'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 10' 54.72" N, 77° 28' 26.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804, 434, 757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6523 Duncan Rd, Petersburg VA 23803, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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