Historic Point of Rocks
Bermuda Hundred Campaign -Preserving a Civil War Site
It has been a long-term goal of
the Military History Committee of the Chesterfield Historical
Society of Virginia to save historic Point of Rocks from falling
through the cracks of time. Through the efforts of CHSV
members and others in Chesterfield County, this site may be saved
for future generations. Here on these historic grounds,
General Benjamin Butler established his headquarters for the U.S.
Army of the James and began the Bermuda 100 Campaign. Here at
this site was built a hospital using the wood and stones from a
nearby church and here such people as President Abraham Lincoln, his
wife, Mary, General Ulysses S. Grant, his wife, Julia, all came to
discuss the war effort. This hospital was the first post in
which nurse Clara Barton served. It was here that President Lincoln
climbed an observation tower and realized that the trains running
through Chesterfield County needed to be stopped and destroyed.
(Pictured are Nurse Harriet Dame). No longer in jeopardy of real estate development
this site is now ready for preservation. The huge boulders
that jut out overlooking the Appomattox River contain the graffitti
left by the Union soldiers and presents an outstanding view of the
To help save historic Point of Rocks Civil War
Efforts to preserve this historic site
have taken years of negotiations with the owners, Chesterfield
County, and preservation groups. There is much work to be done
and you can be part of it!
to the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia and designate
your donation for this purpose. You can be part of preserving
Chesterfield's Civil War story.
of Rocks takes its name from a 60-foot high sandstone cliff that
stands along the Appomattox River. The site was used by Native
American Indians and was mentioned by Capt. John Smith in his notes
on Virginia. In 1642, Abraham Wood established a trading post there.
The land was then passed to Wood's heirs for 371 years, making Point
of Rocks one of the oldest properties in the Country continuously
owned by one family.
At the time of the Civil War, Reverend John Alexander Strachan,
founder of Enon Baptist Church, owned Point of Rocks. Reverend
Strachan constructed a house on the property in 1841 which became
the surgeon's quuarters during the occupatiAon.
The first fighting at Point of Rocks took
place on June 26, 1862, when a Union flotilla, including 12 gunboats
and the ironclads Monitor and Gelena, attempted to reach the
railroad bridge over Swift Creek, located just a few miles upriver.
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln personally ordered this attack because the
destruction of the bridge would impede Confederate reinforcements
and supplies coming up to Richmond from the south. Many of the Union
ships were grounded during the attack. This, combined with heavy
fire from the Confederates hidden among the banks, prevented the
mission from being successful.
this historic site by making a donation. Your donation will
help make this historic site the center piece of Chesterfield Civil
War History and Tourism.
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Historic Point of Rocks in Chesterfield County...
Bermuda Hundred Campaign -Preserving Civil War Site
To help save historic Point of Rocks
Civil War site, please donate.
Point of Rocks c. 1865
Reverend John Strachan House at Point of
Rocks c. 1865 used as the Union Army surgeons quarters.
Preserving Civil War Sites. The Chesterfield
Historical Society of Virginia is dedicated to preserving the Civil War
sites in Chesterfield County. These sites are being maintained presently by
volunteers. If you have a passion for preservation, please consider a
donation to help establish historical markers and site maintenance.
Donations are welcomed.
Chesterfield County Facts
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.
Home c. 2016
at Point of Rocks