Fort Keene

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Fort Keene (1864-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort established in 1864 near Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. Named Fort Keene after Captain Weston H. Keene, 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry, who was killed in action on 30 Sep 1864 at the Battle of Peebles Farm, Virginia. Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

History of Fort Keene

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 Keene was established in 1864 as a Union earthworks fort along the Union seige line south of Petersburg, Virginia. Situated between Fort Tracy and Fort Wadsworth and connected to them by entrenchments. The fort guarded the Vaughan Road leading into Petersburg. Reported to be nearly completed on 8 Oct 1864.

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.

Current Status


Location: Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. Map point is approximate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.16887 Long: -77.42738

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  • Elevation: 172'

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