For nine month's during the Siege of Petersburg, Union Gen. Grant made his headquarters on the lawn of Appomattox Plantation, the ancestral home of Dr. Richard Eppes and his family and their enslaved community. Situated at the confluence of the Appomattox and James Rivers, City Point provided a strategic location for the busy harbor that would supply the Union Army throughout the siege as well as provide quick communications to Washington D.C. and Fort Monroe. Hundreds of ships carrying supplies and ammunition filled the harbor. Warehouses along the wharf stored food for 100,000 soldiers and 65,000 animals as well as clothing and equipment.

Several weeks after his second inaugural address in which he called for 'a just and lasting peace' 'with malice toward none, with charity for all,' Abraham Lincoln met with Generals Grant and Sherman aboard the River Queen at City Point to plan 'liberal and honorable' surrender terms for the Confederates. A few weeks later Robert E. Lee and his Army or Northern Virginia surrendered honorably to Grant at Appomattox Court House.

Visiting City Point at Hopewell

Your best bet to tour City Point is to begin at the Petersburg National Battlefield City Point Unit. Here there is a staffed park office featuring a film, exhibits, gift shop and self-guided tours of the Eppes home, grounds, gardens and outbuildings as well as Grant's restored and recreated cabin. At the park office you can pick up the Hopewell, VA City Point Open Air Museum Walking Tour brochure. This splendid walking tour is truly a step back in time to Old Town City Point. There are 25 stops that take you past Appomattox Plantation and Grant's headquarters as well as historic homes and churches and the Old City Waterfront Park where there are scenic views, picnic tables and a fishing pier. Walking tour brochures are also available at the Hopewell Visitor Center.

Visit National Park Service for information about the history of General Grant's Headquarters at City Point.

Pictured at the top: Dr. Richard Eppes inherited his family's plantation and the ca. 1763 home known as Appomattox Manor. One of the wealthiest men in the South, Dr. Eppes built his fortune on this plantation through the labors of over 100 enslaved men, women, and children.

City Point at Hopewell Grant's Cabin'

General Grant's cabin was one of 22 cabins built at City Point to house Union soldiers. Grant's recreated cabin is open to visitors at City Point.

City Point at Hopewell Waterfront Park

During the Siege of Petersburg City Point was one of the busiest ports in the world with as many as 200 ships anchored in its harbor. Today, park visitors enjoy fishing, scenic strolls and picnics at Old City Waterfront Park.

Historical Photo

city point grant and officers

General U. S. Grant and staff, City Point, Va., summer of 1864 (Library of Congress)