Petersburg was founded at a strategic point at the fall line of the Appomattox River and settled by English colonists, then known as Peter’s Point, later renamed Petersburg. During the American Civil War, because of its major railroad network, it was key to Union plans to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond. Battlefield sites are located throughout the city and surrounding areas, preserved as Petersburg National Battlefield. Even after its heavy involvement in the Civil War, Petersburg has retained its historic beauty and rich culture. Just across the bridge is Virginia State University and Colonial Heights. Downtown features historic reused buildings that are now housing, great restaurants, coffeehouses, breweries, and shops. Petersburg is where the city meets hometown, making it ideal for everyone.