Siege of Petersburg Begins

Thursday, June 9, 1864

A Union fortification at the Siege of Petersburg.

Despite the recent setback at Cold Harbor, General Grant places pressure on Petersburg, Virginia, to the south of Richmond. The "Siege" of Petersburg (not really a traditional siege because it doesn't surround and cut off the city's supply lines), lasts nine months and results in extended trench warfare. Grant repeatedly attacks the Confederate supply lines between Petersburg and Richmond, forcing General Lee to overextend his men and supplies. Finally, Lee is forced to withdraw, and the cities of Petersburg and Richmond surrender on April 3, 1865, while Jefferson Davis and his cabinet are forced to flee. With the loss of the Confederacy's capital city, the end of the war seems imminent. Aside from its role in bringing the Civil War toward an end, the Siege of Petersburg is remembered for its extensive trench warfare and high casualties, which resembled the trench warfare of World War I. 

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