- The Union Army waged a 10-month campaign here 1864-65 to seize the town of Petersburg. The conflicts in Petersburg occurred between June 9, 1864 and April 2, 1865 in an area covering 700 square miles. The Union military campaign included six major battles, 11 engagements, 44 skirmishes, six assaults, nine actions, three expeditions and one affair, resulting in 70,000 casualties. The conflicts in Petersburg comprise to form the longest protracted engagement of the American Civil War. The battle ended on April 9, 1865 with the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House.
Poplar Grove (Petersburg) National Cemetery - 6,315 interments, 4,110 unidentified - is near the park; grave space is not available.
The National Battlefield presently consists of 2,700 acres extending 35 miles. It includes the City Point Unit, the Main Unit where much of the hardest fighting occurred and the Five Forks Unit where Lee's
defense was finally over stretched. Seven days after the fall of Petersburg, the Civil War in Virginia was over.
Recreation - The best place to begin your tour of the battlefield is the park visitor center and museum. Here you will learn the history of the site and obtain orientation information. A 17-minute relief map presentation is shown on the hour and half hour at the visitor center. During the summer months a variety of presentations, most with costumed interpreters, is available throughout the park. Check at the visitor center for sites and times.
Beginning from the visitor center is Park Tour Road, which is a four-mile driving tour with eight interpretive stops. In addition to wayside exhibits and audio stations, some of the stops have short, interpretive walking trails. The extended driving tour, south and west of Petersburg, is 16 miles long and has seven tour stops. The park has a ten mile Boy Scout Historical Trail in addition to 15 miles of unpaved trails within the Main Unit of the park.
Climate - Summer months are hot and humid in this region of Virginia. Lightweight clothing is recommended as well as comfortable walking shoes. Winters are cold with occasional snow and ice. Fall and spring bring moderated temperatures and pleasant touring conditions as well as fewer visitors.
Petersburg, Virginia, lies south of Richmond and the Appomattox and James Rivers, in the coastal plains area. The main unit of the park is accessible from State Highway 36 East.