Battle scene – blue uniformed soldiers approaching center from right. American flag held by soldier on right in image.
This powerful scene depicts the third Battle of Petersburg, also known as the Breakthrough at Petersburg. It was a decisive Union assault on the Confederate trenches. It ended the Siege of Petersburg and began General Robert E. Lee’s retreat to the west, where he hoped to obtain supplies and link up with Joseph E. Johnston’s army in North Carolina. On April 3, 1865, Richmond fell to Union forces. A major objective of the war since 1861 had finally been achieved. A week later Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, ending the Civil War.