Petersburg Defenses

Petersburg Defenses (HMBGG)

Location: Petersburg, VA 23805
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 12.024', W 77° 24.519'

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Batteries 35-38

You are facing Battery 37 in the 10-mile-long Confederate defensive line constructed between 1862 and 1864 east and south of Petersburg. Named the Dimmock Line for supervising engineer Capt. Charles H. Dimmock, it consisted of trenches linking 55 earthen forts and batteries. Four batteries—35 to 38—still remain here in present-day Lee Park. From east to west, the first is Battery 35, built for 9 guns in Bailey's Woods on high ground east of present-day Willcox Lake. After the Army of Northern Virginia occupied it in June 1864, it was named Fort Walker for 3rd Corps Chief of Artillery Col. (later Gen.) Reuben L. Walker. Across the lake on the next high ground is Battery 36, sustaining 7 artillery pieces. Beyond it farther west is Battery 37, built "in Capt. Banks' Field" for 8 guns. It was named Battery Pegram in honor of artillery Col. William R.J. Pegram, who was later mortally wounded in the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865. Battery 38 stands a short distance west.

The batteries faced south toward a U.S. Army position two miles away, out of effective artillery range. The closest fighting to this part of the Confederate line occurred on June 22 (Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road) and August 19, 1864 (Battle of Weldon Railroad). Both times, Gen. William Mahone's Confederates slipped out of their lines to attack, concealed by the ravine of Willcox Branch, which ran through the defenses. On April 2, 1865, Federal columns assaulted the defenses east of here along the Jerusalem Plank Road (now Crater Road) near Battery 29 (Fort Mahone), and undoubtedly the guns here fired in response before the Confederates evacuated the lines and retreated west.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 8:34pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 286234 N 4119821
Decimal Degrees37.20040000, -77.40865000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 12.024', W 77° 24.519'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 12' 1.44" N, 77° 24' 31.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804, 434
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1800 Baylors Ln, Petersburg VA 23805, US
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