City Point Wharf
During the ten-month siege of Petersburg during the American Civil War, City Point served as the main supply center for Ulysses S. Grant's Union army. Located on the south bank of the James River, City Point allowed Grant access to both railroad and shipping routes, transforming the tiny town briefly into one of the busiest ports in the world. Grant also kept his headquarters there for most of the campaign, from June 1864 until March 1865.
This photograph shows the munitions and coal wharf that was built to replace the one that was destroyed in August 1865 by a bomb placed by Confederate agents. In the foreground, caissons and artillery have been unloaded onto the ordnance and munitions wharf while, to the left, coal has been unloaded from a schooner and barge onto the coal wharf. There are a number of people in the photograph, but their images are blurred by the long exposure time.
The photographer, Captain Andrew J. Russell, was the official photographer of the United States Military Railroad and one of the few military photographers in the Union army.