Petersburg, city (1990 pop. 38,386), politically independent and in no county, SE Va., on the Appomattox River; inc. 1850. A port of entry and an important tobacco market, it has industries producing chemicals, pharmaceuticals, furniture, structural steel, lumber, paper goods, and medical equipment. Fort Henry was built there in 1646 on the site of a Native American village. A trading post was then established, and in 1784 three villages—Petersburg, Blandford, and Pocahontas—were combined as Petersburg town. In the Civil War, Petersburg, which guarded the southern approaches to Richmond, was under siege from June 15, 1864, to Apr. 3, 1865. After failing to destroy Lee's army in the Wilderness campaign, Grant slipped unnoticed from Confederate lines at Cold Harbor and moved on the city. Lee, forced to defend Petersburg in order to protect Richmond, entrenched his troops there. On July 30, 1864, Union forces exploded a mine under part of the Confederate works and poured into "The Crater," but were driven out with heavy losses. Grant gradually extended his left flank SW of Petersburg to cut off Lee's supplies from the lower South, and Lee was forced to spread his smaller army over many miles of entrenchments. Sheridan's victory at Five Forks on Apr. 1, 1865, followed by a general assault on the Petersburg lines, finally broke Lee's resistance. Petersburg fell on Apr. 3, 1865. Union forces entered Richmond on the same day, and Lee surrendered the remnants of his army at Appomattox Courthouse one week later. Petersburg National Battlefield (est. 1926) encompasses much of the battle scene; many old earthworks and tunnels are preserved, including "The Crater." Other points of interest include Blandford Cemetery, with 30,000 Confederate dead; Blandford Church (1735-37); Center Hill Mansion (1823; now a museum); and Gen. William Mahone's home, now part of the public library. Virginia State Univ. is to the north in the suburb of Ettrick. To the east is Fort Lee, an army quartermaster training center and home of the U.S. Army Women's Museum.
Russian Sankt-Peterburg formerly (1914–24) Petrograd or (1924–91) Leningrad

City (pop., 2006 est.: 4,580,620) and port, northwestern Russia. Located on the delta of the Neva River where it enters the Gulf of Finland, it is Russia's second largest city after Moscow. Founded by Peter I (the Great) in 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire from 1712 to 1917. It was the scene of the Decembrist revolt in 1825 and the Bloody Sunday attack on workers in the Russian Revolution of 1905. The original centre of the Bolshevik revolution (see Russian Revolution of 1917), it lost its capital status to Moscow in 1918. In World War II it underwent a siege by German forces (September 1941–January 1944), during which hundreds of thousands of people died (see Siege of Leningrad). From 1990 a reformist city council and mayor helped swing the country from the control of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. St. Petersburg is a cultural, educational, and industrial centre and Russia's largest seaport. Industries include engineering, printing, manufacturing, and shipbuilding. One of Europe's most beautiful cities, it is strewn with canals and several hundred bridges; its many palaces, cathedrals, museums (including the Hermitage), and historical monuments were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1990.

Learn more about Saint Petersburg with a free trial on

Search another word or see petersburgon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature