Fort Lee

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

For at least three hundred years, the area of Virginia now called Fort Lee has been inhabited.

The roads and the later railroads on which tobacco was transported to market became the avenue of mobilization and troop support during the American Revolution and the Civil War.

These roads passing through Fort Lee linked Petersburg and City Point (Hopewell), both vital supply and communication centers on the Appomattox River.

During the last days of the Revolutionary War, British and Tory troops were engaged in a battle by a small force of Americans near Blandford Church, between Petersburg and the present Fort Lee.

After the Americans were forced to withdraw and all military stores in Petersburg were destroyed, Lord Cornwallis and his army joined the British and marched through this area to Yorktown where the war ended.

In the summer of 1864, General Grant decided the capture of Petersburg was essential to the Union cause in order to cut the important supply lines into Richmond and force General Lee out into the open.

General Lee moved his headquarters to "Violet Bank," now Colonial Heights, and Grant's headquarters and supply depot were at City Point. The struggle for Petersburg continued for ten months before Lee evacuated to the city.

One week later, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, 100 miles to the west.

Four historical markers indicate where General Grant's military railroad crossed the post.

For a time General Meade had his headquarters in the area of E Ave. and 38th St., and President Lincoln watched a review of troops at the present Mahone Ave. parade ground just weeks before his assassination.

For more on this fort, click here.

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