The American Civil War saw a country divided. Southern states had seceded to form the Confederate States of America, which legalized and protected the enslavement of Black people. For four years, the Confederacy rebelled against the Union. On March 2, 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to Lieutenant General and was placed in command of all Union armies. From that time, Grant made his headquarters in the field with the Army of the Potomac, the Union’s largest army.
At the conclusion of the Overland Campaign against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee, the Army of the Potomac laid siege to the city of Petersburg, Virginia. It was at that time that Grant decided to make his headquarters at the port town of City Point.
Situated at the confluence of the Appomattox and James Rivers, the Appomattox manor, owned by the family of Dr. Richard Eppes, was conveniently located near the landing at City Point. Grant made his headquarters on the lawn of the estate, where a number of cabins were built to accommodate the general and his staff.
Over the course of his stay at City Point, Grant hosted a number of visiting dignitaries, including Secretary of State William Seward, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and even President Abraham Lincoln.
Know Before You Go
Grant's cabin and the Eppes estate is managed by the National Park Service and is open to the public.