For more information on General Ulysses S. Grant and his military leadership during the Civil War, click here.

Grant's Headquarters

Setting Up Camp

General Grant's initial military strategy did not include a siege on Petersburg. Rather, he wanted to force Lee's troops out into the open where the Union troops could outfight the Confederate Army. This plan was not working as Grant had intended and ultimately, Grant shifted his focus and proceeded with a siege of Petersburg, Virginia. Grant established his headquarters seven miles behind the lines at City Point. As the siege evolved, Grant started to stretch his lines to the south and west of Petersburg, with the intention of cutting all railroad lines that led into Petersburg. These five railroad lines were how General Lee's troops received supplies.

During the summer and fall of 1864, General Grant and members of his staff lived in tents situated on the grounds of a Virginia plantation. But as the war dragged on and the weather turned colder, the tents were taken down and replaced with 22 log cabins. The cabins were small and rustic, designed simply to protect the men from nature's elements. General Grant himself occupied a two-room cabin near the center of all the structures. He used the front room as his office and the back room as his private quarters. In December 1864, he brought his wife, Julia, and son, Jesse, to City Point to join him in his crowded quarters.

Even for the General, the cabin was sparse with little furniture and conveniences of the time. One of General Grant's staff described the cabin like this: "General Grant's hut was as plain as the others, and was constructed with a sitting-room in front, and a small apartment used as a bedroom in the rear, with a communicating door between them. An iron camp bed, an iron washstand, a couple of pine tables, and a few common wood chairs constituted the furniture. The floor was entirely bare." ("Historic Furnishings Report" Petersburg National Battlefield.)


Learn more about Grant's Headuarters at City Point, VA:

Setting Up Camp
President Lincoln Comes to City Point
The Meeting That Changed the Course of History
A Vision For Peace
Lincoln Waits For the War's End
A Deadly Premonition
The Siege of Petersburg
Lincoln's Plans For Reunification
Lincoln's Dream Comes to Life
Preserving Grant's Cabin
Visiting Grant's Headquarters at City Point, Petersburg National Battlefield, Hopewell, VA