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Civil War Collage                                                     

Photograph:                                                 Dutch Canal  Chesterfield County, VA

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The Civil War in Chesterfield County, VA

Bermuda Hundred Campaign Re-Enactment

Chesterfield County, Virginia is the only county in the Civl War conflict that a full campaign was fought.  It is unique to the Civil War in the United States.  It prolonged the war for two more years.  The first major action of the Civil War in Chesterfield County took place on May 15, 1862 when a federal flotilla led by the Union ironclad USS Monitor headed toward Richmond on the James River. The Federals were turned back after a three hour battle with Confederate guns at Drewry's Bluff.

In the spring of 1864, the war again came directly to Chesterfield County when Union General Benjamin F. Butler landed the Army of the James on the Bermuda Hundred peninsula.  He  advanced his forces and soon confiscated the home of the Reverend John Strachan family at Point of Rocks.   Butler's mission was to secure a base of operations and then advance on Richmond. During the first days of May, Butler made tentative advances forward, but then fell back to his defensive positions at Bermuda Hundred. The Battle of Drewry's Bluff on May 16 halted Butler's greatest attempt to move on Richmond.  As Butler retreated back to his prepared positions in Bermuda Hundred, the Confederates followed and began to dig their own set of entrenchments.
The Confederate fortifications and trenches prevented Butler from making any more direct threats to Richmond and became known as the Howlett Line. Confederate and Union troops faced each other across those trenches for the rest of the war. 

 

The Civil War in Chesterfield County                      Battle Animations

 

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             Bermuda Hundred Campaign

Chesterfield County has 11 park sites associated with the Civil War. Each of these sites has its own  unique story to tell. Collectively, these �links in a chain� tell the larger story of one of the most important military campaigns of the war but seldom told.  Not all sites are accessible Some have just been purchased and will soon be available to the public. There are local historians dedicated to preserving the battle sites and trenchworwks. If we don't save them today, they will not be available tomorrow. Your donation for this worthy cause would be greatly appreciated.

 

Bermuda Hundred Tour Guide BookCivil War Tour Guide Book:  The Bermuda Hundred Campaign Tour Guide tells about the pivotal role that Chesterfield County played during the last year of the Civil War, a role often overshadowed by bigger battles fought at the same time in Virginia.  You will not find a better self tour guide available than this book.  Go here for more information




The Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia Headquarters and research library has moved into the old historic Trinity Church .  See the news media information.  Please contact us:  (804)796-7121.  Hours of Operation:  Monday-Friday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.

 

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