This depot served the South Side Railroad line, the last railroad left operating during the Siege of Petersburg. When Union troops finally severed the rail line, it ensured the surrender of Petersburg and Richmond, bringing the war to an end.
After the war, South Side Depot became a nexus of political development for Virginia. William Mahone, a former Confederate hero turned Readjuster, had his office on the second floor of the depot. The Readjuster Party was formed as a biracial coalition party, with many great accomplishments such as the establishment of the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (now Virginia State University), Virginia’s first public college for African-Americans.
South Side Depot will serve as a visitor contact station for Petersburg National Battlefield beginning in the summer of 2014.