Petersburg, a city and port of entry of Dinwiddie co., Virginia, on the S. bank of the Appomattox river, 12 m. above its entrance into the James at City Point, and 23 m. S. of Richmond; pop. in 1850, 14,010; in 1860, 18,266; in 1870, 18,950, of whom 10,185 were colored. It is lighted with gas, and abundantly supplied with water from a reservoir. It is well built and naturally drained, the ground descending gradually from the heights on the southern outskirts to the river. There is a public park, called Poplar Lawn. The principal public buildings are the custom house and post office, court house, two market houses, and theatre. The river is navigable to this place, which is at the head of tide water, and, it having been dredged and improved, vessels of large size now ascend to the wharves in the city. Immediately above the city the falls afford extensive water power. Above the falls the Appomattox is made navigable for bateaux to Farmville, 107 m. The Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio (with a branch to City Point), the Petersburg, and the Richmond and Petersburg railroads connect the city with the principal points of the state, and furnish a continuous line to Mobile, Ala., and also to Memphis, Tenn. The handling of cotton and tobacco, with wheat, corn, and general country produce, is the chief business.
The foreign commerce, except in tobacco and cotton, is inconsiderable. There are ten tobacco factories, four cotton factories, four flour and grist mills, a whiskey distillery, four banks, two hotels, six schools of a high grade, one weekly (agricultural) and three daily newspapers, and 24 churches and chapels, viz.: 6 Baptist (4 colored), 4 Episcopal (1 colored), 1 Jewish, 9 Methodist (1 colored), 3 Presbyterian, and 1 Roman Catholic. - Petersburg was incorporated in 1748. It was twice occupied by the British under Gen. Phillips during the revolutionary war. The Petersburg volunteers served with distinction on the Canada frontier during the war of 1812.