Assaults at Petersburg june 16181864

The Federal plan for the capture of Petersburg called for General William Smith's XVIII Corps to advance from its Bermuda Hundred enclave, and assault the city's defenses from the east. Smith was to be supported by II Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Although only 2,200 of General Beauregard's 5,400 troops were in the Petersburg lines, Smith delayed his attack until late on June 15 The 16,000 Federals quickly broke through the Confederate fortifications, causing the defenders to withdraw behind Harrison's Creek. Another push would probably have secured Petersburg, but Smith simply replaced his tired troops with II Corps units, and consolidated his gains.

While the Federals rested, Beauregard abandoned the Bermuda Hundred lines, and rushed his remaining units to Petersburg. On the following day, these units lost additional ground to assaults by II, IX, and XVIII Corps, but again managed to keep the Federals out of Petersburg.

With the arrival of V Corps, the Federal attacks resumed on June 17, but vigorous Confederate counterattacks regained some of the lost ground before the day was over That night, Beauregard withdrew slightly to a hastily constructed defensive line. Meanwhile, Lee had begun to shift part of the Army of Northern Virginia southward to Beauregard's aid. When the Federals resumed their advance on the morning of June 18, their attacks were disorganized and uncoordinated. By evening, as Lee's army poured into the Petersburg defenses, the Federal assault stalled. That night, Grant ordered an end to the frontal attacks on Petersburg, and briefly resumed trench warfare.

Our officers are, during this temporary quiet, freely indulging in those refined tastes which army life is so well calculated to develop, by engaging in such innocent amusements... as horse racing, gambling, and their usual accompaniments, commissary whisky, midnight revels and broken noses."

A Michigan volunteer during the siege of Petersbur

' J shall hold as long as practicable,

Federal Assaults

June 16, 1X64

' \ June 15: Smith's Federal XVIII Corps advances from its Bermuda Hundred base

oclenscs; takes batten' j

June 15-16, night: Beauregard's forces entrench a new line and are reinforced by wo divisions from north of the Jake's' Riyer

..June 16: II, IX and XVIII Corps attack and -seize.part of Petersburg defenses but do not achieve a .breakthrough

A Michigan volunteer during the siege of Petersbur

Federal Assaults

June 16, 1X64

' \ June 15: Smith's Federal XVIII Corps advances from its Bermuda Hundred base

June 15-16, night: Beauregard's forces entrench a new line and are reinforced by wo divisions from north of the Jake's' Riyer

..June 16: II, IX and XVIII Corps attack and -seize.part of Petersburg defenses but do not achieve a .breakthrough

Gunner:

Chaplains of the IX Corps pose for the camera outside Petersburg (right). Both armies witnessed religious revivals ¬°during the conflict - most notably that of 1863 in which 'Lee hitrtsglf participated. The inmates of the military hosjp'i^s, wereijparticularly receptive to the

Paint Creek Mine Wars Map

above right) the severest loss suffered in a single engagement by any Union regiment in the course of the war fyJune 18, late pm: The Federal assault is discontinued by Grant (see map above right)

Gunners of XVIII Corps protected by mantelets (right).

above right) the severest loss suffered in a single engagement by any Union regiment in the course of the war fyJune 18, late pm: The Federal assault is discontinued by Grant (see map above right)

Gunners of XVIII Corps protected by mantelets (right).

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