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Historic Point of Rocks

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Bermuda Hundred Campaign -Preserving  a  Civil War Site



Harriet Dame 

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 James River.  To help save historic Point of Rocks Civil War site, please donate 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!  Please  donate 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



Point of Rocks CollagePoint 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.


Help preserve 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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    Clara Barton    

Clara Barton

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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.1864

 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. 


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Strachan House at Point of Rocks               

       Strachan Home c. 2016

          at Point of Rocks