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American Civil War artillery. This 13-inch Model 1861 seacoast mortar was perhaps the most famous mortar used during the war. The Dictator was mounted on a specially reinforced railroad car designed to accommodate its impressive 17,000 pounds. The gun was served by Company G of the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery for three months during the siege of Petersburg, Virginia in 1864. The Dictator was capable of lobbing a 200-pound explosive shell approximately 2 ½ miles into the city .

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The Petersburg, Virginia, courthouse in 1865. From photographs of the main Eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865. Glass plate negative, right half of stereograph pair. Photographer unknown.

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City Point, Virginia View of waterfront with Federal supply boats. View of waterfront with Federal supply boats. It was created between 1860 and 1865. The photograph illustrates the main eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865.

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3rd Indiana Cavalry - Petersburg, Virginia Detachment of 3rd Indiana Cavalry. It was made in 1864. The photo documents main eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865.

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Soldiers of the VI Corps, Army of the Potomac, in trenches before storming Marye’s Heights at the Second Battle of Fredericksburg during the Chancellorsville campaign, Virginia, May 1863. [This photograph is sometimes labeled as taken at the 1864 Siege of Petersburg, Virginia

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John Dunovant (1825-64). South Carolina. Cashiered for drunkenness, he was reappointed and later killed in action south of the James River.

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Major General Bushrod Rust Johnson (Oct 7, 1817 – Sep 12, 1880), served with the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee. Johnson commanded a division in the section of trenches manned by the South Carolinian troops in the Battle of the Crater. They captured 3 stands of colors and 130 prisoners that day. His men spent the remainder of the Siege of Petersburg in the trenches, ending up at the Battle of White Oak Road and Battle of Five Forks.

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(c. 1865) "Gen. J.C. Robinson" and other locomotives of the U.S. Military Railroad - City Point, Virginia

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The Siege of St. Petersburg (The Leningrad Blockade) was one of the most brutal acts in WWII--Germans & Finns choked off the city for over 800 days--many starved and froze to death--survivors resorted to desperate measures for warmth and food. This seems to be a background event in WWII, but it was one of the most destructive, strategic, complicated, and lethal blockades in history and many people don't know about it. I learned of it reading City of Thieves by Davi Benioff.

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