Petersburg offers ‘Patients and Prisoners’ tour — part two

Published 11:40 am Thursday, August 27, 2015

On Saturday, Sept. 5, at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Petersburg National Battlefield will offer a two-hour auto caravan tour of sites associated with Civil War hospitals and prisoners of war. The tours will include about three miles of driving and one half mile of walking and will begin at 201 West Washington Street in Petersburg. There is street parking available.

About Civil War Petersburg

Petersburg was transformed by the Civil War long before the military combat raged around the city in 1864-1865. One visible way residents could see that transformation was through the establishment of seven hospitals to deal with sick and injured Confederates. In addition to the infirm, there were Union prisoners passing through the city. Unlike Richmond, Petersburg never possessed permanent prisons. As the fighting erupted around the city in 1864, Confederate officials dealt with even more prisoners of war and hospital patients.

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If you go

Participants will follow the ranger in their vehicles to several sites in the city. Visitors will learn about the staff of the hospitals, the roles of women and enslaved people in maintaining the hospitals, and medical care provided. People will also see sites where prisoners were held, and hear accounts about their temporary stay in Petersburg.

For anyone who went on the tour offered in 2014, there will be different sites on this tour. The tours are free; but due to parking constraints, the morning and afternoon tours are limited to eight vehicles each and visitors must make reservations. Contact Park Ranger Emmanuel Dabney at (804) 732-3531 x222 or by e-mail at to make your reservation.