Fort Urmston

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Fort Urmston (1864-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort established in 1864 near Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. Named Fort Urmston after 1st Lieutenant Thomas D. Urmston, 12th U.S. Infantry, who was killed at Peebles Farm on 30 Sep 1864. Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

History of Fort Urmston

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 Urmston was established in 5 Oct 1864 with construction completed on 12 Oct 1864. Built as a six sided earthworks redoubt with positions for six field guns mounted en barbette. The redoubt had three short faces and three long faces. The six guns were mounted at the angles. The outer ditch perimeter was 672 feet.

Fort Urmston NPS Plan
Fort Urmston NPS List

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

Part of the Petersburg National Battlefield. Some remains of the earthworks.

Location: Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.17239 Long: -77.4399

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 171'

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