Another interesting stop a little farther afield is the historical marker for the Beefsteak Raid. Taking Route 10 East out of Hopewell into Prince George County, turn right onto Heritage Road and arrive at the intersection with Old Stage Road. At this intersection you will find a historical marker outlining the events of Confederate Cavalry General Wade Hampton‘s expedition deep behind Union lines to capture a herd of cattle. This daring feat brought nearly 3,000 cows back to Confederate Lines to feed the hungry, besieged soldiers.
Continuing on a broad loop, next travel to Five Forks Battlefield, another satellite of Petersburg National Battlefield. Here, Confederate General George Pickett, attempted to prevent the Philip Sheridan Union Army from capturing the last remaining railroad connecting Petersburg to the outside world. Unsuccessful, the Confederate Army knew it’s days were numbered. The very next day, Union forces broke through Confederate lines at what is now Pamplin Historical Park, forcing General Robert E. Lee to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond. Pamplin Historical Park is a vital stop on this tour not only because it is the site of the Breakthrough Battle, but also houses the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, which educates visitors on the life of the average soldier fighting the Civil War.
Time permitting, head to Old Towne Petersburg a few miles from Pamplin Park and explore the City these two titanic Armies fought for. The newly renovated Petersburg Visitor Center is open and tells the story of Petersburg before, during, and after the Civil War. From there, you can walk to many historic sites in town, including Pocahontas Island, site of the oldest free black community in America and a vital part of the Underground Railroad.
These are just some of the highlights regarding American Civil War history in the area. As you visit these stops, you will undoubtedly discover other places that peak your curiosity. Be sure to review these locations on Google or Trip Advisor and tag us in your photos on Facebook and Instagram.