|A Virginia Militiaman-a Continental Veteran attempting to unhorse |
one of Tarleton's Loyalist Troopers. (Petersburg Progress-Index, Alex Trihias).
|Virginia Militia encampment at Chesterfield|
|Muhlenberg's battalions were set into a defensive line along Poor's Creek and Lieutenant Run to deny|
Gen Phillips' line of march to the warehouses in Petersburg.
We didn't know it at the time, but we were being turned. Phillips sent the Queen's American Rangers and a battalion of light infantry to the south in a wide arc. On the order from General Von Steuben, we retired in good order to the second line in Petersburg.
|While Muhlenberg's four militia battalions held off Phillips' assault in Peterburg, Light Infantry|
and the Queen's Rangers under LtCol John Graves Simcoe performed a turning movement to the south.
As the redcoats made their way through Blandford, our artillery came into action to cover our retirement from the heights on the north side of the Appomattox about a mile away. They kept up the fire as we joined ranks with the two other battalions in Von Steuben's second line.
|Virginia Artillery awaiting orders on the heights above Petersburg.|
From there we held them for an hour and a half, repelling several attacks. All the while, we knew nothing of LtCol Simcoe's turning our flank as he swept west towards the upper reaches of Lieutenant's Run.
|Von Steuben ordered a withdrawal as the Tories were discovered to the west of the town. The Virginians withdraw in good order across Pocahontas Bridge, but as British artillery ranged their retreating columns, order disintegrated.|
At this point, we were hard pressed to the east and our scouts brought word that there were Tories in our rear. We had given them a good showing and were ordered to withdraw across Pocahontas Bridge to the north side of the Appomattox, which, I am happy to say, we did in good order while under pressure from Tories and Redcoats.
|Civilian scouts often moved with the armies. With a lack of accurate mapping, |
local guides who new the roads and fords were essential well into the 20th c.
The recreation of the Battle of Petersburg was held for the 25th year at Battersea House, a palladian mansion that overlooks the Appomattox. I have to say it was a little smaller of a turnout from years past, but I did manage to unhorse a dragoon again, spend the evenings in song, working on projects in camp and generally have a good time, riding my friends' horses around the property.
|Working on a petticoat for my daughter in the militia camp.|
|Al Underwood and Gary O'Brien conduct a cavalry demonstration|
for the visitors at Battersea.
I'll be back next year...but as a Queen's American Ranger.
For more detail on the Battersea House and the Battle of Petersburg go to: