02274 - Damaged Houses; Petersburg, Va., April 1865 [LC-DIG-cwpb-02274]
The effect of shelling, such as during the Siege of Petersburg, impacted not only the military lines of defense but the civilian population that was in the area. Here we see damage that is significant but minor compared to some locations. During bombardments, shells would often land repeatedly on a location until it was either destroyed or worse yet, catch fire.
Once a location caught fire, it could spread from one building to the next, quickly consuming entire neighborhoods. While it may have been possible to repair some of these buildings, often only portions of the wall or a chimney were all that remained. Even if the damage was minor - skilled labor, building material and money to pay for repairs was generally unavailable.