The roundtables annual trip was to Petersburg Va. this year. This is part one of a two-part tour that will conclude next year when we examine the later stages of the campaign including the retreat to Appomattox. Friday April 23 was a travel day that included a few stops while en route. One was at Hawk’s Nest State Park on Route 60 in West Virginia. That’s the New River down below. http://www.hawksnestsp.com/
From Hawks Nest we continued on to the New River Gorge Bridge. This view is from the the walking trail from the visitor center to the bridge overlook. The bridge is well known as the site of the one day a year bungie jumping event that takes place from it. http://www.nps.gov/neri/index.htm
Then it was on to the quaint West Virginia town of Lewisburg where on the morning of May 23, 1862 Confederate troups under command of General Henry Heth attacked Colonel George Crooks Union troops. http://www.wvculture.org/history/journal_wvh/wvh20-1.html We toured the battle areas and then moved on towards our final destination. The trenches of Petersburg.
First thing Saturday Morning our group met up with our guide for the weekend, Mr. Will Green. Executive director of Pamplin Historical Park, past president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Cites, author and Petersburg Campaign expert; we were in good hands. First Stop City Point with a tour of the grounds and a visit into Grant’s Cabin.
From The Cabin it was on to the Eastern Front Battlefield.
From Battery 5 we continued to move west down the Confederate line
Here we are in front of the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Monument, one of the few monuments on the field, but I think they earned it. They suffered more casualties in an ill-fated charge during the siege of Petersburg than any Union regiment lost in a single day of combat throughout the war. It was also the Union regiment with the highest number of officers killed (23). Follow this link for their story: http://www.cwoodcock.com/firstmaine/index.html
Close by the monument are the Confederate works known as Colquitts Salient. On March 25, 1865 Confederate forces commanded by Maj. Gnl. John B. Gordon would launch the second Confederate offensive of the campaign against Union Fort Stedman only 282 yards away. The COCWRT would also make that charge as shown below with Fort Stedman in the distance. For more information:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_StedmanAfter visiting Stedman It was time to move on to the Crater.
Pamplin Park also has an outstanding full scale reproduction of a trench system: http://www.pamplinpark.org/
We also visited the Hatchers Run Battlefield which is preserved by the CWPT. The battlefield now lies deep in the Virginia woods. The earthworks are very well-preserved.
A number of other areas in the Petersburg area were visited. The roundtable concluded the trip with visits to the Richmond visitor center as well as a few other locations in Richmond prior to the trip home.
While some of our members chose to view the fantastic exhibits in the visitor center other members chose to view other activities in the park.
This concludes our photo tour of our visit to Petersburg. Part two is planned for next year, please consider joining us.