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Petersburg City Manager

William E. Johnson, III
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History of Petersburg

Petersburg was originally known as Peter's Point. The settlement was granted its first charter as a town on December 17, 1748. In 1850, the town of Petersburg was consolidated with the nearby settlements of Blandford, Pocahontas, and Ravenscroft to become a City, the third in Virginia, with a population of 14,010.

The port of Petersburg was a commercial center for processing and transporting cotton, tobacco, and metal goods. As transportation technology evolved, Petersburg became an important railroad center, continuing to process products from southside Virginia and distributing them to external markets.

Both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars are prominent in Petersburg's history. The City is well known for the Battle of the Crater when Union troops attempted to tunnel under Confederate lines with disastrous results. The seige of Petersburg precipitated Lee's surrender and the end of the war. Today, the City retains established manufacturing and tourism based industries. It is conveniently located for manufacturers which distribute their products on the east Coast.