PETERSBURG, Va. – Ramping up for another exciting theatrical Civil War battle reenactment, members of the Confederate troupe, the Richmond Rebels, are determined to finally win the Third Battle of Petersburg this year.
“Every April we get our asses kicked [at the reenactment],” remarked 2nd Lt. Danny McFranklin. “But this time around, we’re prepared. We’ve got more soldiers, more supplies, and we’re going to be ready for General Wright’s early morning ambush.”
The Third Battle of Petersburg in April 1865, often called the “Fall of Petersburg,” was a major Confederate defeat that marked the beginning of the end of the Civil War. After being overwhelmed by Union forces, Confederate troops under the command of General Robert E. Lee were forced to retreat north to Richmond. Every year the Virginia Civil War Reenactment Association puts on a dramatic display of the battle.
This time around, though, the Confederate actors are hoping to turn the tables on their Union foes. William Pierce, a veteran Confederate actor for the battle, claims that the South is going to be better equipped for the reenactment.
“Do we understand history? Sure we do. Which means we learn from our mistakes. For instance, we’re going to make damn sure the communication and supply lines aren’t cut off this time. We’re also going to give A.P. Hill more backup so he doesn’t get himself killed on his way to Lee.”
McFranklin also mentioned that they were finally able to recruit more volunteers for the battle, noting that one major disadvantage for the Confederacy was their army’s smaller size. “Luckily we picked up a ton of people at a custom car show last weekend that were all ‘Yeah! The South is going to win it this time!’ so that’s promising.”
The reenactment is scheduled to take place at Battersea Plantation on April 2, the anniversary of the battle. The event is free for the public to attend.
“We’ve plenty of hard tack and we’re pretty confident that we’ve got the dysentery under control this year,” explained McFranklin, eagerly. “We won’t be the ones retreating to Richmond when it’s all over.”