Petersburg/Richmond This is part two Of a series on the siege of Petersburg Virginia


Jun 2, 2011
Washington, D.C.
Here is a list of the nine offensIves that grant launched against Petersburg and Richmond during the siege of Petersburg.

anyone who reads this may need to re-read part one to refresh their memory on the siege of Petersburg.

Grant’s first offensive June 15-18, 1864: known as the Petersburg assaults, the four days of battle left the union forces holding a large portion of the eastern face of the Dimmock Line.

grants second offensI’ve June 21 through July 2, 1864: this ambitious thrust was aimed at capturing the Weldon and Southside railroads. The second army corps was soundly defeated on June 22, 1864. Meade abandoned the offensive after June 23 when he could not compel The sixth army corps to move forward Against the Weldon railroad. Meanwhile the cavalry divisions of Wilson and Kautz launched a raid against the railroads supplying Petersburg. They Inflicted great damage on those railroads but failed to destroy the all important bridge over the Staunton River. On their way back to rejoin the army of the Potomac, they were set upon by confederate cavalry and infantry at Sappony Church and Ream’s Station on June 28th and 29th 1864. The two divisions were badly cut up and the last stragglers returned to union lines on July 2. It took a month for them to recover from this raid.

Grants third offensive July 27 through July 30, 1864: Grant dispatched Sheridan with the divisions of Torbert, Gregg and Kautz to tear up the Virginia central railroad north of Richmond. He attached Hancocks second army corps to the expedition with the goal of using the infantry to pen the rebels up in their outer defense line. This would ensure that Sheridans cavalry could return safely To the deep bottom area after tearing up the railroad without being attacked by Hampton‘s confederate cavalry. The raid failed. These operations are known as the first battle of deep bottom.

Although Grant did not foresee this, the Confederates stripped the Petersburg front to defend Richmond against the cavalry raid. this reduced the confederate Garrison at Petersburg To three divisions and increased the chances of a union victory after Burnside exploded his mine On July 30. Because the federals botched the attack the Confederates held the line The battle that ensued is known as the battle of the Petersburg crater.
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