Siege Of Petersburg Research Paper

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The Siege of Petersburg is known to be the longest and most complex campaign of the Civil War. The siege itself was a direct, but indirect attack upon the Confederate’s capital of Richmond. If the Union succeeded in taking the City of Petersburg, a major supply depot for Richmond, they would slowly choke the capital and deliver a fatal blow to the Confederate’s ability to continue with the war. General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia was defending the Confederate’s capital of Richmond from the continuous attacks by Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Potomac. General Lee was successful in defending Richmond and forced General Grant to reassess his strategy of frontal attacks on Richmond. General Grant…show more content…
The siege itself would see countless engagements between both sides and several attempts to break each other’s front lines. One of the most notable attacks was orchestrated by the Union in the second phase of their Third Offense known as the Battle of the Crater. The second phase required Lieutenant Colonel Pleasants to have his men excavate a mine from behind Union lines, just west of Poor Creek Ravine, to under the elevated Confederate line held by an infantry brigade. Pleasant’s men would succeed in digging under the lines and placed 8,000 pounds of powder under the confederates. On July 30th, 1864, at 4:44 a.m. the explosives were detonated decimating the confederate line opened a hole that the Union poured into. The attack would be countered by the Confederates and by 1:45 p.m. the Union was in retreat and the Battle of the Crater ended. The union lost an estimated 3,798 men in an attempt to break the line and the Confederates lost only an estimated 1,100 to 1,600 men, which included those lost in the

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