Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is opening a new exhibit this Memorial Day titled “292 Days, A City at War” on May 30, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. It presents the civilian side of the war as the City of Petersburg laid under siege for 292 days from June of 1864 to April of 1865.
The exhibit is divided into two parts. The first part examines the history of Petersburg and its impressive growth from its founding around 1675 as a trading post known as Peter’s Point to the secession of Virginia from the United States in 1861. At that date, Petersburg was the second largest city in Virginia and the seventh largest city in the Confederacy.
Petersburg was home to 39 different companies and merchants, five iron foundries, 3 water powered mills, 22 tobacco factories. It was a transportation hub (one of the first cities in Virginia to pave its streets in 1813, with gas lights added in 1851) with five major railroad lines. The population of the town had grown to over 18,000 by the 1860 census, including over 3,200 free blacks, the highest percentage of free blacks in any city in the South. It was a city on the move.
Then the war came, the second part of the exhibit covers the war years from the secession vote to the end of the siege. The war’s effect on the city and the surrounding area was devastating. in many ways the city never recovered. Included in the exhibit are many artifacts from the Park’s own collection and items on loan from other institutions. The exhibit will open at 1:30 p.m. on Memorial Day (May 30, 2022) and run until December 18, 2022.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the Park’s Battlefield Center at 1:30 p.m. and is part of a full day of activities in honor of Memorial Day. There will be programs throughout the day to include mourning traditions at Tudor Hall and an 12:45 p.m. ceremony. The exhibit ribbon cutting will be followed by a special guided tour of the exhibit at 2:00 p.m. and a walking tour of the Breakthrough Battlefield will begin at 3:10 p.m. starting at the Battlefield Center.
This special exhibit will be open through December 18, 2022 and included with regular daily admission. The Park is normally open Tuesday through Sunday with the exception of Memorial Day. Daily admission for adults is $15, seniors (65+) and Military w/ID $12.00, children (6-12) $8, and children under 6 free.
One of “Virginia’s Best Places to Visit” according to the Travel Channel, and designated as a National Historic Landmark, Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is a 424-acre Civil War campus located in Dinwiddie County, Virginia offering a combination of high-tech museums and hands-on experiences. The Park has four world-class museums and four antebellum homes. The Park is also the site of The Breakthrough Battlefield of April 2, 1865 and America’s premiere participatory experience, Civil War Adventure Camp. For more information, please call 804-861-2408 or visit www.pamplinpark.org.