The Breakthrough at Petersburg
(Friday and Saturday)

Historian: Randy Walkins (Fri), John Pagano (Sat)

Description: (Heavy Walking/Hiking Tour) The day begins with a walking tour of the afternoon Union assault on the Confederate picket line on March 25, 1865 after the Battle of Fort Stedman early that morning. This action was significant in that the Federals captured a portion of the Confederate picket line which set up the VI Corps attack of April 2, 1865 where a greatly outnumbered Southern force was quickly defeated. The “Breakthrough” was expanded both to the northeast and the southwest with devastating results.

The movement to the northeast eventually led to Confederate Fort Gregg and to the Turnbull House, Lee’s Headquarters, also known as Edge Hill. By the end of the day the VI Corps was on the western doorstep of the city of Petersburg.

The afternoon portion of the tour will be by bus and will visit other battlefields of April 2, 1865. These will include the battles of Sutherland Station, Fort Gregg and the Union IX Corps Attack against the Confederate line south of Petersburg which included Fort Mahone, better known as Fort Damnation, along the Jerusalem Plank Road.

The culmination of these battles will lead to Lee’s decision to evacuate both Petersburg and Richmond the night of April 2-3, 1865. Appomattox Court House is only a week away.

Tour Stops: Fort Fisher, VI Corps attack hike, Sutherland Station, Fort Gregg, IX Corps Attack, Fort Mahone


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