150 Years Ago the 20th Michigan Enters Petersburg
April 3, 2015 § 1 Comment
By the end of March, 1865, Union and Confederate forces faced each others along 37 miles of trenches from north of Richmond to southwest of Petersburg.
The Confederates had suffered major losses in an unsuccessful attempt to break out and escape followed by an unsuccessful effort to prevent the Union forces from outflanking those trenches about eight miles southwest of Petersburg.
The few Confederates remaining in the trenches hungry and at their breaking point.
On April 2, 1865, the Union attacked seeking a breakthrough at a weak point. the IXth Corps attacked from their positions just south of the Appomattox River and east of Petersburg. Anson Croman and the 20th Michigan Infantry Regiment were in the IXth Corps. They were position north of the attack ready to provide support.
The IXth Corps captured the Confederate Fort Mahone but was blocked by the Confederates from advancing further.
However, other Union units broke through at several places to the south and west forcing the Confederates to evacuate and retreat from both Petersburg and Richmond. The next day April 3, 1865, the Union army entered Petersburg.
The 20th Michigan was the third unit to raise its flag over the Petersburg courthouse.
|Petersburg courthouse at the time of the siege.Public domain photo||Flag of the 20th Michigan. Unknown if this was the one raised over the Petersburg courthouse.Public domain photo||Petersburg courthouse today.Fair use|
Meanwhile, Abraham Lincoln, who was nearby at Grant’s headquarters at City Point, Virginia, toured the battlefield.
Links, sources, and more information:
If Anson Croman wrote letters home, none have survived. Therefore the best way to preserve the story of his service is by sharing the history of his regiment
Records document that Anson Croman was with his regiment from his 1862 enlistment until the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Virginia in 1865.
The Musbachs and Robinsons are direct line descendants of Anson Croman and he is my 2nd great-grandfather-in-law.