Contents

Preface xii
Author’s Note xiv
A Note on the Illustrations xv

Prologue: A Distant Thunder
1. “Petersburg is to be and shall be defended” 1
2. “It was a marvel of a move” 11

Part I: Enemy at the Gates
3. “Hold on at all hazards!” 27
4. “I have determined to try to envelop Petersburg” 54
5. “The destructive work of the shells was visible on every hand” 88
6. “The saddest affair I have ever witnessed in the war” 96

Part II: Fighting Right, Fighting Left
7. “It was terrible—awful—terrific” 129
8. “Fire low! Low! Low!” 140
9. “Hello! Yanks! Want any fresh beef?” 190
10. Dateline: Petersburg 201
11. “Everything now hinges on the election” 217

Part III: The Last Winter of War
12. “Starvation Parties” 257
13. “We cannot believe Americans can do these things” 262
14. “When we weren’t killing each other, we were the best of friends” 286
15. “Proper subjects for the hangman” 304

Part IV: An End, A Beginning
16. “The tremendous possibility” 333
17. “I have ordered a general assault along the lines” 359

Epilogue: A Distant Thunder
18. “My kitchen is full of soldiers” 403
19. “I hoped to capture them soon” 416

Notes 426
Note on the Organization of Forces 447
Organization of Forces (1864 - 1865) 448
Bibliography 466
Acknowledgments 504
Index 506

List of Maps
The Richmond-Petersburg Front iv
Bermuda Hundred/Swift Creek/Petersburg: June 9, 1864 3
The Overland Campaign 13
Crossing the James 19
The First Assaults: June 15-18, 1864 29
Jerusalem Plank Road/Hagood’s Assault: June 24, 1864 59
The Wilson-Kautz Raid 84
Petersburg: 1864-1865 89
First Deep Bottom/The Crater 99
The Crater—Competing battle plans 104
Explosion at City Point: August 9, 1864 131
Second Deep Bottom/Reams Station 146
Battles for the Weldon Railroad: August 18-21, 1864 158
The Beefsteak Raid 195
New Market Heights/Fort Harrison/Peebles Farm 205
First Hatcher’s Run/Williamsburg Road 221
The Weldon Raid: December 7-12, 1864 265
Petersburg Forts and Siege Lines 289
Second Hatcher’s Run 316
Fort Stedman 335
Dinwiddie Court House/Five Forks/Sutherland Station 361
Fort Mahone/Sixth Corps Assault/Fort Gregg 365
Pursuit to Appomattox Court House 418
Photos and illustrations are positioned throughout the book for the benefit of the reader, with a gallery following page 270.