The Bermuda Hundred Campaign
Bermuda Hundred was one of several settlements attacked by Pamunkey Chief Opechancanough in 1622. It is believed that John Rolfe died just prior to or during that attack. By 1691 Bermuda Hundred had grown into one of the primary tobacco ports on the James River. In 1781, during the American Revolution, General Benedict Arnold used Bermuda Hundred as the site of his headquarters. In the late 1800's, the port was used as a steamship wharf catering to Atlantic Ocean passengers and cargo. It later became the terminus for the Bright Hope Railroad. This is the site where General Benjamin F. Butler launched his Bermuda Hundred campaign. In May 1864, General Benjamin F. Butler, Commander of the Army of the James landed with 40,000 Union Troops at this site. He forced the Reverend John Strachan family from their home, destroyed the crops and orchard around the house and set up his hospital, which became the largest hospital in the known world. He dug in for a long siege.
By the end of World War I, the port at Bermuda Hundred began to see a decline in traffic. By 1940 the post office had closed and ferry service between Bermuda Hundred and Shirley Plantation had ceased. Today, Bermuda Hundred is a predominantly an African American village whose residents can trace their roots back to the earliest days of the settlement. The area is home to several large manufacturing facilities and is the gateway to the Presquile National Wildlife Refuge. In 2006, the village of Bermuda Hundred was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.
Discover your Chesterfield ancestors and their rich history. Our volunteers are there to assist you if needed.. See our library page for more information.
Chesterfield County, VA Civil War Parks
Chesterfield County, VA contains 11 parks sites associated with the Civil War and the Bermuda Hundred Campaign. 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. Most historians have said little of what happen in this county. It was the only Civil War Campaign fought entirely in one county. The Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia has a self-guided tour book with maps and detail stories of how the war was fought here. You can purchase a copy at the CHSV LIbrary located in the historic Trinity Church in Chesterfield, VA.