Petersburg National Battlefield Park, located approximately 25 miles south of Richmond, encompasses a large area with battlefield sites and visitor centers.
In June 1864, Ulysses S. Grant realized that the key to conquering Richmond was to bring down the remaining major supply source, Petersburg. Three days after an unsuccessful attack, Grant decided to surround the city and wear down the supply desperate Confederate soldiers. The Confederates, under General Robert E.Lee, managed to hold off the Northern troops for 9 1/2 months. However, by early April the Confederates could protect Petersburg no longer and evacuated the damaged city. Both armies began their trek toward Appomattox, leaving behind 70,000 casualties in what was the longest siege in American warfare. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse would occur one week later.