With a population of over 32,000, Petersburg is just a 15 minute drive away from Fort Lee. Petersburg has been (and continues to be) a major transportation hub through much of its history. Located on the Appomattox River, Petersburg was a major transfer point between cargo ships and there emerging railroad industry in the 1830s.
As a major supply point for the Confederacy in the Civil War, Petersburg was the target of a 10-month siege directed by Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The siege cut off supplies to the Confederate capitol in nearby Richmond. When Petersburg fell to the Union in 1865, it signaled that Richmond could no longer be defended and led to Robert E. Lee's surrender, essentially ending the war.
Notable Nearby Attractions
Petersburg National Battlefield
The park commemorates the 10-month Siege of Petersburg and offers talks, tours and living history demonstrations.
Named after the Native American Princess Pocahontas, the island was home to freed slaves as 1800.
South Side Railroad Depot
This 2-story block is the former Confederate General William Mahone's office and headquarters. Here, he worked extensively to help advance the position of the African-American population of Virginia.
Peterburg Area Art League
The Petersburg Area Art League maintains an art gallery with a permanent collection as well as rotating exhibits by area artists and hosts art classes and lectures.