Camp Of Heavy Artillery On The Way To Petersburg The First Massachusetts And Second New York At Belle Plain, 1864 2nd Heavy Artillery, Civil War
On May 16, 1864, the date of this sweeping photograph, the movement against Petersburg had begun. The heavy guns which these two regiments were about to serve before Petersburg were sent by steamer and rail, so no ordnance is visible in this peaceful-looking camp of the banks of the beautiful river. The First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery had been ordered from the defenses of Washington to join the Army of the Potomac at Belle Plain, Virginia. It was to from part of the second brigade, third division, Second Army Corps, of the Army of the Potomac, from May, 1864, to May, 1865. A month after landing at Belle Plain it was at the siege of Petersburg. At Belle Plain it was met by the Second New York Heavy Artillery, also from the defenses of Washington, which formed part of the first brigade, first division, Second Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac, from that time till June, 1865. The latter regiment also proceeded to Petersburg but by a more circuitous route. May 18th to 21st is served at Spotsylvania; June 1st to 12th, it was at Cold Harbor.
Taken from Photographic History of the Civil War Volume V Forts and Artillery, Francis Trevelyan Miller, editor-in-chief. New York: the Trow Press, 1911, pages 52 and 53.