Battlefield Terrain

Battlefield Terrain (HMA0N)

Location: Petersburg, VA 23803
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 10.918', W 77° 28.412'

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The Breakthrough Trail

— Pamplin Historical Park —

This bridge spans a small branch of Arthur's Swamp. The ravine created by this streamlet had important consequences for both the defending Confederates and the attacking Union troops.

The earthen mounds immediately in front of you are the remains of a military dam designed by Confederate engineers. Notice how the fortifications end on either bank of the stream. Rather than build earthworks across the stream and post soldiers in a swamp, the engineers relied on this dam to impound the water. They called this device an "inundation," simply a pond behind the dam. The water from the pond would create an obstruction to attacking troops and make them easy targets for the soldiers positioned behind the works to the right and left. The Confederates built another such dam several hundred yards downstream, behind you, but neither one of them was functional on April 2, 1865.

This ravine provided an important landmark for the attacking Union troops in the darkness of that April morning. Soldiers from Vermont aligned themselves along the far bank of the ravine while troops from Maryland, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania advanced along the opposite side. Near here the first Union troops penetrated the Confederate fortifications.
HM NumberHMA0N
Placed ByPamplin Historical Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 5:16am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280421 N 4117924
Decimal Degrees37.18196667, -77.47353333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 10.918', W 77° 28.412'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 10' 55.08" N, 77° 28' 24.72" 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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