Civil War Tours
Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia
Bermuda Hundred Campaign
Port Walthall Junction
Discover your Chesterfield ancestors and
their rich history. Our volunteers
are there to assist you if needed..
See our library page for more
information. See The New Film on
Discover your Chesterfield ancestors and their rich history. Our volunteers are there to assist you if needed.. See our library page for more information. See The New Film on the Library Committee
Chesterfield County Civil War Notables and SitesThe Battle of Trent's Reach was one of the final major naval battles of the American Civil War. Beginning on January 23, 1865, a powerful flotilla of Confederate warships bombarded Fort Brady along the James River and engaged four Union Navy ships with the intention of breaking through the blockade to attack City Point, the base of General Ulysses S. Grant who was besieging Petersburg, Virginia. After two days of fighting the rebels withdrew back up the river without completing their objectives. Click on photograph for a larger view.
Built in May 1864 and first named Fort Howlett, the battery was renamed after Colonel Olin M. Dantzler who was killed June 2, 1864 in an attempt to capture Fort Dutton. Leading the 22nd South Carolina Infantry Regiment the attack failed. Battery Dantzler, a Confederate battery, was constructed to stop Union naval forces from advancing up the James River. By January 1865, it was armed with two 10" columbiads, one 7" Brooke rifle and one 10" mortar. It was manned by the Johnston Artillery under Captain B.J. Epes. The battery was abandoned April 2, 1865.
One Hundred and Fifty-Nine years ago and just shy of 20 years old, Samuel Ali Mann from Matoaca, Va., joined the Confederate Army. He enlisted at the Chesterfield County historic 1749 courthouse and was hastily trained in Manchester. He was sent to Drewry’s Bluff to help build a fort and protect Richmond from Union Gun Boats. He was one of 200 soldiers at the fort and working day and night with a pick and shovel during a heavy rain, the fort was almost completed when reports of Union ships were sighted coming up the James River. On May 15, 1862, the four-hour Battle of Drewry’s Bluff began. Samuel Mann, the first sergeant of his Company and a gun-pointer, manned his cannon. The Federal ships were the Monitor, the Iron-clad Galena, and three wooden gunboats. The Chesterfield battery had three huge Columbiad cannon, two of these were lost during the fight but the Union ships were repelled. As they were leaving, Sergeant Mann asked his lieutenant for permission to fire “one more time”. Samuel Mann aimed the gun and ran to his observation point and gave the order to fire. His shot ricocheted and bounced through one of the wooden ships. It put a hole from astern to stem in that wooden ship as big as a barrel. Samuel Mann eventually was with Lee’s army when it surrendered at Appomattox.
Help Save Chesterfield County's Rich History
"C. 1860 Summerseat" - According to tradition, this 19th century house was used by a county magistrate as the “seat” of his court during summer months due to the muddy and rutted roads which made travel to the courthouse in the center of the county almost impossible. The lower brick portion of the house was the “jail” or “detention center, complete with bars that held prisoners or those persons awaiting trial. It is not a large building at 18 by 16 feet. The house is part of Virginia State University.
C. 1879 Trinity Church - The old church sits in a stand of a few trees not quite visible from Krause Road but adjacent to Ironbridge Road where it is plainly noticeable. It offers an unobstructed view at that corner. Not so vacant any longer and no longer a huge storage shed for odds and ends, it serves a new purpose in its longevity of survival. It is alive with activity once again. Presently, the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia is utilizing the building as its headquarters and library until historic Castlewood is renovated. Historic Castlewood, ca. 1817-1819, sits nearby to the church just across Krause Road and was once the parsonage for the Methodist.
Summer Camps for Children