The Bermuda Hundred Campaign

Midlothian MInes

The Bermuda Hundred Campaign of 1864      Midlothian Mines Park  13301 North Wooldridge Rd,  Chesterfield County, VA

 

 

Coal from the mines was used to fire the furnaces at Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond. Tredegar was the main supplier of artillery and iron for the Confederacy. Union cavalry were quartered near the current Mid-Lothian Mines Park after the war.

 

When war broke out between North and South in 1861, Chesterfield County's coal industry was stimulated, for the fossil fuel was sorely needed by the Confederacy's defense industry, especially in the Tredegar Iron Works, which produced heavy ordnance. Although the Union Army marched up the Buckingham Road and through Midlothian in May, 1864, intending to destroy the county's railroads and pre-vent reinforcements from reaching the embattled Confederates at Drewry's Bluff, no combat is know to have occurred in the immediate vicinity of the Mid-Lothian Coal Mining Company's property. After the fall of Richmond, 100 troops of the 9th Vermont Infantry were detailed to guard the Midlothian mines and encamped in the vicinity of the Railey Hill pits for about a month.  The Railey Hills home survives today just off Midlothian Turnpike surrounded by busy county businesses.  One of the 9th Vermont's officers, who occupied the home of the mine superintendent, reportedly etched his name in a window pane in the parlor (Weaver 1961-962: 44; O'Dell 1983: 85-86; 463, 473-475). 


After the Civil War, coal production in Chesterfield fell off sharply and the Midlothian coal mines never again became a truly successful business enterprise.

(View of Dodd Park at Point of Rocks in 1865.)

One of the first major industrial sites in the United States became a 44-acre preserve when Mid-Lothian Mines Park opened in 2004. Now dedicated to the citizens of Chesterfield County, past and present, the cut stone ruins of the mines surrounded by the beautiful woodland testifies to the courage, innovation and sacrifice of those who started the U.S. industrial revolution. The park is free and open to the public 6:00AM to 8:30PM.

Click on the sign for a Virtual Tour of Midlothian Mines.

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©2021 BY CHESTERFIELD HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF VIRGINIA.