Supply the Soldiers in the Field


The Union Army traveled across the James River to arrive at City Point. Locate this in the top right corner of your map. Now, follow the blue arrow down towards the city of Petersburg. This arrow shows the movement of Union soldiers to the city as the fighting began.

3. Now that you have located City Point, identify two reasons why the Union Army would make this their headquarters.

4. Now that you have located Petersburg, identify two reasons why the Confederate Army would worry that Petersburg might become a target for the Union Army.

During the siege of Petersburg, General Grant located his headquarters at City Point, Virginia, eight miles behind the Union lines. A small port town at the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers, City Point had been connected to Petersburg by railroad prior to the war. This made City Point a valuable location for the Union Army to make their headquarters! (The town of City Point is now known as Hopewell, Virginia.)

5. Once Union soldiers established their headquarters at City Point, between 150 and 225 vessels could be seen on the rivers daily. The James and Appomattox Rivers brought your army all the supplies they could need or want. How would you get theses supplies to your men fighting down in Petersburg?


City Point became the supply base for the Union forces fighting at Petersburg. Overnight the tiny village became one of the busiest ports in the world. On a daily basis, between 150 and 225 vessels could be seen on the waters along the banks of City Point. The City Point railroad line would become the U.S. Military Railroad. The U.S. Military Railroad construction corps rebuilt the line west to Petersburg, then extended it southwest behind the Union lines. In just 22 days, the army had completed the first stage of the railroad and had trains operating on a full schedule, delivering supplies to the soldiers.