Fort Wadsworth (3)
Fort Wadsworth (3) (1864-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort established in 1864 near Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. Named Fort Wadsworth after Union General James S. Wadsworth, who was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness on 6 May 1864. Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.
History of Fort Wadsworth
The Union seige operations against the Confederate lines around Petersburg began in June 1864 as Confederate forces fell back to a defensive line around the city. Union forces began to build a continuous seige line around the Confederate lines capturing new ground to complete the encirclement. Fortifications included earthworks forts, gun batteries and entrenchments that allowed the Union forces to place "one man per yard" along the ever lengthening line.
Fort Wadsworth was established on 18 Aug 1864 immediately after the Union capture of the Weldon Railroad south of Petersburg. The Weldon Railroad was a major supply line from the south into Petersburg. It was captured and destroyed by Union forces during the Battle of the Weldon Railroad on 18 Aug 1864.
Fort Wadsworth was built to prevent the reestablishment of the rail line and as a temporary anchor for the west side of the Union seige line. The fort was built as a rectangle with four large bastions protruding from the corners. Each bastion could mount up to three cannon and the fort could be defended from attack in any direction.
At the completion of Fort Tracy in January 1865 the Union line around Petersburg was 32 miles in length, with some 36 forts and 50 gun batteries.
With the general advance of Union troops on 2 Apr 1865 toward Petersburg, the Confederate line was broken and overnight General Robert E. Lee withdrew his troops from Petersburg ending the seige on 3 Apr 1865. The whole of the Union army followed Lee toward Appomattox and in a series of actions that rendered escape impossible, Lee was forced to surrender on 9 Apr 1865. The seige line fortifications around Petersburg were effectively abandoned on or about 3 Apr 1865, some 9 months after the siege began and 6 days before the end of the war.
Part of the Petersburg National Battlefield. Markers, interpretive panels and a monument to Hagood’s Brigade along with the earthworks remains of the fort. The earthworks outline is clearly visible. The adjacent Halifax Road follows the original roadbed of the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad tracks.
Visited: 2 Apr 2012