Reminiscences of Petersburg and Appomattox
Read before the commandery of the State of Maine, Military Order of the Loyal Legion October, 1903..
Chamberlain recounts a visit to the battlefields of Petersburg and Appomattox in 1903. The land was somewhat changed
since he was last there. New forts were there with names like Fort Rice, Fort Hell and Fort Sedgwick.1
A maze of tunnels and breastworks replaced the hills and fields over which Chamberlain had charged.
After describing the hill the guns were on Chamberlain describes the area he charged over, this area he says later became Fort Hell.
Remarkably Fort Sedgwick remained unchanged well into the 20th century, it's tunnels were part of a
privately owned museum and park called Fort Hell Park. Tragically in 1967, not too long after the centennial, the park,
fort and tunnels were bulldozed to make way for a shopping center and parking lot that has in recent years been converted to a church. A tour guide to the old park can be seen at:
Plowshares & Bayonets.
The land has so much changed in recent years that historians are unsure of the exact location of Chamberlain's wounding. Based on the current location of Poor Creek some
believe the location is near the intersection of E. South Blvd and Warren Street in Petersburg.
Tom Desjardin believes it is "just past the dead end of Van Dorn St. in Petersburg." Due to the uncertainty of the location and the
inaccessibility of suburban neighborhoods the new historical marker noting Chamberlain's wounding was not placed on the exact spot.
You can learn more about the marker here.
Historical markers and other points of interest are marked on the map above.