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Grant’s Overland Campaign in the spring of 1864—which included the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna, and Cold Harbor—culminated in an initially unsuccessful assault on Petersburg, Virginia, June 15 through 18. In the grim 10-month struggle that followed, the city survived in a state of siege until Lee’s retreat westward in April 1865 and the collapse of the Confederacy.
Civil War historian Ed Bearss leads tour participants to the Petersburg National Battlefield’s Eastern Front Visitor Center, followed by a walk along the Battery 5 area—the strongest fortification on the original Confederate line.
Additional stops during the day include Fort Stedman, where a pitched battle was fought in March 1865 in Lee’s final attempt to relieve the long siege; historic Blandford Church and cemetery; and the Crater, scene of the terrible Petersburg mine explosion in July 1864.
Lunch is included at Pamplin Historical Park in Petersburg.
7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. by bus from the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C Street, S.W., with a pickup stop at the Horner Road commuter lot bus shelter, I-95, Exit 158B, at about 7:55 a.m.
Wear shoes and clothing suitable for outdoor walks on battlefields.