Petersburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,420. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines Petersburg with Dinwiddie County for statistical purposes. It is located on the Appomattox River and 21 miles south of the state capital of Richmond. The city's unique industrial past and its location as a transportation hub combined to create wealth for Virginia and the region.
Early in the colonial era, Petersburg was the final destination on the Upper Appomattox Canal Navigation System because of its location on the Appomattox River at the fall line was a strategic place for transportation and commercial activities. It connected commerce as far inland as Farmville, Virginia, to shipping on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. For similar reasons, Fort Henry was built at Petersburg to protect the river.
As railroads were constructed in the state in the 1830s, Petersburg was developed as a major transfer point for both north-south and east-west competitors. The Petersburg Railroad was one of the earliest predecessors of the modern-day CSX Transportation system.