For more than 100 years after the Civil War, the heart of the Petersburg Breakthrough Battlefield remained privately owned, with nearly a mile of Confederate earthworks virtually untouched save by weather and the elements. In 1991 businessman and philanthropist Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. acquired the land - which had been his family's ancestral home during the Civil War - and established a historical park for the preservation and interpretation of the battlefield and his ancestors' home.

Today, Pamplin Historical Park encompasses more than 400 acres and features the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, Tudor Hall Plantation, a Civil War encampment and fortifications exhibit, a Battlefield Center that interprets the Petersburg Breakthrough Battle, and the Breakthrough Trail that winds through nearly a mile of well-preserved Confederate fortifications. The Battlefield Center interprets the Petersburg Breakthrough battle, and the Breakthrough Trail takes visitors into the heart of the battlefield with an accompanying audio tour and interpretive signs. The park features a recreated military encampment and fortifications and the restored Banks House that was Grant's headquarters after the battle. Overall, three miles of scenic trails wind through the battlefield area. For those requiring accessibility assistance, wheelchairs and all-terrain scooters are available and may be requested at the front desk.

Pamplin Historical Park offers daily programs, demonstrations by costumed interpreters, films, group tours and custom tours for groups and individuals. To top it off, kids of all ages 8-80 can choose the blue or the gray, put on their uniforms, shoulder their muskets and live the lives of Civil War soldiers at the Civil War Adventure Camp.

Pictured at the top: The evocative architectural features of the Battlefield Center at Pamplin Historical Park commemorate the collapse of the Confederate line during the Petersburg Breakthrough battle.

Pamplin Historical Park Breakthrough Trail

The scenic Breakthrough Trail winds through heart of the Petersburg Breakthrough Battlefield and offers three length options - long, medium, and short ranging from 1-1/4 mile to 1/4 mile.

pamplin historical park hart house

The Hart Farm, located adjacent to the Civil War Adventure Camp at Pamplin, was the scene of heavy fighting during the Petersburg Breakthrough and the year before during the Battle of Peebles Farm.