Civil War - CHSV

Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia
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Civil War

Civil War in Chesterfield County, VA
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.   Go here for the Bermuda Hundred Campaign

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.  


Visit our Civil War Parks.  

Learn about a larger ring of fortifications that made up a Confederate line of defenses known as the Howlett Line. Constructed in late May, 1864, this defensive position would prevent Federal troops from launching any further operations.  This defensive position kept the Army of the James entrenched on the peninsula. The Chesterfield Historical Society has a self- tour guide book for sale.  This tour will include stops at Battery Dantzler, Parker’s Battery,Howlett Line Park, Fort Wead and Sgt. Engle Park and other sites.  It includes maps and historical information  regarding each battlefield.

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.

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