Petersburg, a small town settled quietly along the banks of the Appomattox River, gives little indication at first glance that tremendous bloody battles were waged here during the Civil War. In fact, nearly a quarter of the war that so divided the nation during the late 19th-century was fought around this unassuming spot which today is dotted with sites of victory and defeat, the boom of cannons and beleaguered soldiers replaced by history-minded sightseers.
Old Towne in Petersburg boasts shops, restaurants and historic attractions such as Quartermaster Mansion, Centre Hill Mansion and the Siege Museum. Petersburg National Battlefield marks the site of what is still the longest siege in American History, and can be explored on an auto tour or by taking to local trails on foot. During summer, living history programs recreate life during the Civil War, as to battle reenactments. The Siege Line tour is a 16-mile auto trip with stops at Poplar Grove National Cemetery and Five Forks Battlefield, called the "Waterloo of the Confederacy".
While you're in the area, leave time for a detour toPamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier featuring museums, battlefield, plantation homes and living history on a 422-acre campus, good for insight into the everyday life of a Civil War soldier.
Petersburg is located in Southeastern Virginia, about 25 miles southeast of Richmond, VA on Rt. 460.