The Bermuda Hundred Campaign

2nd Drewry's Bluff Battle

The Bermuda Hundred Campaign of 1864      The Second Battle of Drury's Bluff (Proctor's Creek) 8900 Pams Avenue, Richmond, VA

 

On May 16, 1864, General P.T. G. Beauregard assembled bis brigades into divisions and positioned hem in place for an attack.  He had patched three divions together under the commands of Major Generals Robert Ransome , Robert Hoke and Alfred Colquitt.   Ransome was given the task to was to assault from Old Stage Road to bend the Federal forces back.  Hoke was to attack the Federal center and left flank.   this was the plan to  hold the Federals in place and preclude any reinforcemnt from the right.  Colquitt was placed in reserve with Matt Ransom's brigade.  Major General W.H.C. Whiting’s two brigades would move north from Petersburg and cut off the Federal retreat.

However, Beauregard sent Major General Chase Whiting with his brigade to Drewry's Bluff and to march Wise and Martin along with the remaining men of Colquitt's brigade to Port Walthall.  Butler’s army would then be either destroyed or at least forced to fall back from the Confederate capital and the vital Richmond & Petersburg Railroad. At 4:30 a.m., Ransom’s men began moving through heavy fog and slammed into Smith’s corps. The Confederates routed a Connecticut brigade and captured 400 men including its commander, Brigadier General Charles Heckman. The Federal right flank bent but did not break. Ransom’s attack soon stalled.

The rest of Hoke’s division struck the Federal left but made no progress. Meanwhile, Butler ordered Gillmore to send reinforcements to the right, and then he ordered Smith to abandon the right altogether and fall back. To the south, Whiting’s Confederates met a single Federal division at Port Walthall Junction and halted, as Whiting feared that more Federals were coming. Butler received word that Confederates were in his rear, adding to the general confusion among the Federals. 

The Federals fell back in driving rain about a mile before reforming their line at Half Way House around 2 p.m. About two hours later, after receiving word that Confederates from Richmond were crossing the James to confront him, Butler ordered a retreat to the Federal entrenchments at Bermuda Hundred. As he reported, “The troops have been on incessant duty for five days, three of which were in a rainstorm. I retired at leisure to within my own lines.”

Beauregard had driven Butler away from Richmond and the railroad, but he could not destroy Butler’s army. Beauregard accused Ransom, despite his successful initial attack, of lacking the aggression needed to finish the Federals off. Nevertheless, the Federals returned to the peninsula where Beauregard could seal the neck with a token force and ensure that Butler could not threaten Richmond or Petersburg anymore.  Butler was bottled up.  This battle is detailed in the Bermuda Hundred Tour Guide book shown at the right

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.

Major General Robert Ransome

Surgeon's Quarters at Point of Rocks in 1865.)

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