Lee’s Last Stand

The Union Army’s siege ended in 1865, but it still has a grip on Petersburg, Virginia

After a tornado passed through Petersburg, Virginia, in 1993, relief-agency posters around the city read: “The tornado did to Petersburg in about 22 seconds what the Union Army couldn’t do in 10 months.” At first glance this slogan seems a puzzler: What did the tornado do—leave the place standing, perhaps? But the message is unmistakable. In most places, after the latest bit of bad news, local papers dutifully comb their archives for reassurance that things used to be worse.

"So Ends The Great Rebel Army…”

To Union Colonel Charles S. Wainwright, Lincoln was a weak President, Grant an uninspired commander, Lee a slippery foe. His outspoken diary, never published before, memorably describes the Civil War’s final year

One of the most illuminating and important firsthand accounts of army life in the Civil War is contained in a diary kept by Colonel Charles S. Wainwright, who served with distinction as an artillerist in the Army of the Potomac and was chief of artillery for General G. K. Warren’s Fifth Corps during the final year of the war.