The Siege Of Petersburg: Reading Between The Lines


When the Confederate transportation center of Petersburg fell after a 9.5 month siege, the combatants faced each other across lines of major earthworks in a more than 35 mile long arc.  The territory between these lines contains a fertile archeological record of  U.S. attempts to advance and C.S.A. counter-moves and their skillful yet desperate efforts to defend vital supply lines to Richmond.  We explore the physical record of the campaign from the interim lines to both armies’ picket lines and posts, saps, covered ways, water, wood and wire obstacles, tunnels, sharpshooter posts, fields of fire and organized observation from signal stations as the sides try to sense advantageous moves and countermoves.  We analyze the territory between the lines using maps and photographs, LIDAR, GPS and excavation.  No man’s land is a welter of obstacles and probes as the Federals press to an eventual breakthrough. 

Cite this Record

The Siege Of Petersburg: Reading Between The Lines. Julia Steele, David Lowe, Philip Shiman, Alexis Morris. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441825)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 569