|This original South Side Railroad Station, the oldest such building in the state, was built around 1854 when the line was completed from Petersburg westward to Lynchburg, a distance of 123 miles. An express train could run this distance in five hours, including one hour stopping at the various stations along the way. The old City Point Railroad was also purchased at this time, becoming an extension of the South Side.
During the Civil War, many Confederate troops were brought here from distant battlefields and camps, and sent to the numerous Petersburg hospitals. In the final year of the war, the railroad would be the target of at least three Federal cavalry raids, with service being disrupted from time to time while the tracks were repaired.
During the siege, the building was under constant bombardment as a strategic target. Trains were forced to begin stopping out of artillery range at the Fleet Street crossing, a few blocks west near Campbell's Bridge.
Damage from a 30-pound artillery shell can still be seen in the western freight wing where it crashed into a roof support beam. The beam was later braced to repair it. It was reported that the station was hit two times by artillery projectiles during the siege.
This building served as the post-war offices for the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad under former Confederate Gen. William Mahone. His office was on the upper floor front window of the passenger station. This rail line is now the Norfolk-Southern.
"The Town of Petersburg" as it was presented to Northerners in The New York Times on June 21, 1864, a week into the campaign. Although it does have some inaccuracies, it is fairly dependable. You are standing in from of the building marked "Lynchburg & City Point Depot."
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